Video: Curative vs. Palliative Care

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Medical Outreach Director Kaylen Jackson discusses the differences in Curative and Palliative Care, and what your surgical options are for each of them.


“Hi. I’m Kaylen Jackson, the Medical Outreach Director for The Mesothelioma Center, and on this week’s edition of “What Does it Really Mean?” I am going to be going over the difference between curative and palliative care.

In the simplest terms, curative care involves treatment in an effort to extend the patient’s overall length of life; while palliative care involves treatment that will hopefully improve the patient’s quality of life.

Both types of care can involve surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

Curative surgical options include resections that remove the cancer in an attempt to help the patient live longer. This could include an extrapleural laminectomy or a pleurectomy decortication.

Palliative surgical options attempt to eliminate or reduce the potential side effects or symptoms caused by the disease. For example, many patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma experience plural effusions which Missy talked about in last week’s video.

A procedure called a talc pleurodesis eliminates the pleural space where that fluid builds up and this can help alleviate the pain or pressure a lot of patients experience as a result of these effusions.

Chemotherapy and radiation can be used as a curative measure to help stop or even reduce the size of the tumors altogether. In a palliative measure, it’s used to help either keep the cancer at bay or maybe keep it to spreading to other areas that would cause additional pain or discomfort.

To find out more about curative or palliative care and which focus might be right for you or a family member, please feel free to contact us and thanks for watching this week’s edition of “What Does it Really Mean?”

To get free information about mesothelioma, click here. What terms would you like our Patient Advocates to discuss next week? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook

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Nadia Persaud joined the Mesothelioma Center in 2011 as the Social Media Community Analyst. She is excited to be spreading awareness about asbestos safety and new developments in the industry with our online community.

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