Patient Guide

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Palliative Care is for Anyone with Cancer at Any Time

Palliative care is available to anyone with cancer regardless of the stage of your disease, the amount of time since diagnosis, or the type of treatment you are receiving.

You can receive supportive and palliative care along with treatment to fight your cancer. The Supportive and Palliative Care team works with your oncology team at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to provide in-depth symptom management and support. Your oncologist continues to make decisions with you about your care.

You or your doctor may contact SCCA’s Supportive and Palliative Care Service, (206) 288-7474, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by emailing Make an appointment by calling (206) 288-7324, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are usually available within one to two weeks. See What to Expect.

Supportive and Palliative Care Service

The Supportive and Palliative Care Service team can help improve your ability to tolerate treatment and carry on with everyday life. Supportive and palliative care may help you live longer, even with advanced cancer.

Palliative care is all about enhancing your quality of life, including:

  • Relieving pain and other symptoms
  • Helping you cope with the stress of having cancer
  • Helping you understand your condition and your choices for care so you can make decisions that are right for you
  • Talking with your family about your illness, your treatment, and your wishes
  • Determining what is most important to you
  • Preparing for the future
  • Helping you complete a living will/advance directive or durable power of attorney for health care
  • Helping you decide if and when it is right to enroll in hospice

Palliative Care Is Not the Same as Hospice Care

Hospice care is designed for people who are in the last six months of their life and who are not receiving treatment aimed at curing their disease or prolonging their life. Usually hospice care is provided in your home by your own caregiver, such as a family member, and a hospice team that visits regularly, and may include specialized nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers.

The Supportive and Palliative Care team can help you decide if and when it is right to enroll in hospice. The team can also assist with referrals to hospice care and provide ongoing coordination of care with the hospice team, when appropriate.

You can learn more about palliative care through these websites: