Some serious chronic medical illnesses, such as certain cancers or AIDS,
cause significant suffering and impair quality of life. Palliative care is therapy that focuses on decreasing pain and suffering
by providing treatments for relief of symptoms along with comfort and support
for patients of all ages. Palliative care uses a team approach that involves
the treating doctor, the family, and other health care professionals and social
services. Hospice care, which involves helping ill
individuals and their families during the last period of life, is often an
important part of palliative care.