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Managing Side Effects: Palliative Care

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care refers to the comprehensive management of the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of seriously ill patients. It is important to note that palliative care is different from hospice. While hospice does provide palliative care, its primary focus is on terminally ill patients – those who no longer seek a cure for their illness and who are expected to live for about six months or less. Palliative care is appropriate at any point during an illness and can be provided at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure. The goal of palliative care is to achieve the best possible quality of life through the relief of suffering and control of symptoms. Palliative care helps patients gain the strength to carry on with daily life, improves their ability to tolerate medical treatments, helps them better understand their choices for care, and provides support for their families and caregivers.

The Sansum Clinic Palliative Care Team provides customized treatment to meet the needs of each patient. Services include:

  • Assessment and review of patient’s plan of care, including identifying patient’s needs
  • Collaboration with the clinician’s treatment of patient by providing patient-family case management, help navigating the healthcare system, care coordination and effective management of complex and changing symptoms
  • Guidance with difficult and complex treatment choices, as well as preparing patient and family for the end-of-life process
  • Advance care planning 
  • Providing resources and referrals for bereavement services
  • Other services as needed, such as coordinating discharge services with the appropriate hospice or home care program, and then ensuring the full support of everyone during the transition

For more information, visit the Sansum Clinic website or call (805) 879-0675. 

Books at the Resource Library

These are just a few highlights from the Resource Library collection. Please click here to search our online catalog. For more information about the Resource Library and how to borrow materials, visit our website

Palliative Care Videos

Palliative Care: YOU Are a BRIDGE - 1:45 minutes

This video animation compares palliative care to the foundation of a bridge. While illness may weaken the foundation, the palliative care team provides a stronger layer of support.


Cancer.Net - What is Palliative Care: An Introduction for Patients and their Families - 7:15 minutes

This patient education video offers an introduction to palliative care, which provides support and relief to any person from the symptoms of cancer or side effects of treatment, regardless of age or type and stage of disease. It is led by Dr. Michael Fisch, survivor Holly Anderson, Dr. Jennifer S. Temel, and Dr. Dorothy M.K. Keefe.

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | |