Concerning the image of palliative medicine / care, we think that many patients embrace the image of hopeless medicine that cancer treatment is over and there is no treatment other than palliative care. Of course, palliative care is an important medical treatment at the final stage, but recent thinking about palliative medicine / care is that it should be provided from the time when cancer diagnosis is given. In other words, it is thought that you would be diagnosed with cancer, treatment would begin, and at the same time palliative medicine / care would start. Palliative medicine / care relieve all suffering (including physical pain, mental suffering such as depression, social distress such as economic problems and employment, spiritual distress) throughout the medical treatment of cancer and supports so that cancer care can be received smoothly. Also, when disease condition progresses to some extent, we consider decisions support to consult policies for future treatment and care as important field that we can provide. The physicians treating cancer in our hospital provide basic palliative care at the same time as cancer care, but when it cannot be solved by itself, further specialized palliative care is necessary; our department supports it as a system. Alleviating the mental symptoms of patients is very important. Primary care is handled by our department and we work in close cooperation with the Department of Psycho-oncology.
Patients’ battle / medical treatment with cancer cannot be done without cooperation of their family. We have a system to support the family at the same time. In cooperation with social worker (certificated social worker, full-time in our hospital) who is social welfare expert and the Cancer Counseling and Support Center that also responds to medical expenses and transfers adjustment as well, we support patients including their families