It’s fairly common to confuse palliative care with hospice care, especially in the non-medical community. There are similarities, yes, but there are also important differences. More rehabilitative in nature, palliative care is not end-of-life care. A patient under palliative care has not reached a stage where his or her disease is considered terminal and therefore may elect to continue curative treatments. In addition, palliative care is not dictated by strict definition protocol, as is hospice care.
Patients receiving palliative care often experience decreased pain, improvement of appetite, less anxiety, and more strength and guidance to make decisions surrounding their quality of life. Specialists and primary care physicians often have a larger role in palliative care based on the patient’s wishes.