Palliative care can be helpful at any time during a patient’s advanced or chronic illness and is centered around symptom management and quality of life. Palliative care can be provided at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure the patient, enhancing well being and improving quality of life. In fact, studies have shown that incorporating palliative care with conventional medical treatment prolongs survival. Patients and their families both can benefit from an improved sense of well-being .
Hospice care always incorporates palliative care, but is focused on caring for terminally ill patients who no longer seek a cure for their illness, and are expected to live for about six months or less. Both palliative care and Hospice can be appropriate for patients with cancer or other end stage diseases such as severe congestive heart failure and COPD.