November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. This year's theme is "It's About How You Live." 

Hospice and palliative care are two areas that are commonly misunderstood by the public. This month, we have a great opportunity to dispel some of the myths. For example, it is widely thought that patients can receive palliative care only at the end of life, which is not at all true. 

Additionally, palliative care is not just physical care. It also includes emotional and spiritual support. The goal, like this year’s theme, is to improve patients’ quality of life, enabling them to make the most of each moment. Take a look at some additional myths...

MYTH: Palliative care and hospice are the same. 

TRUTH: Hospice care is simply a form of palliative care that’s given near the end of life, when the patient is expected to have six months or less to live. However, not all palliative care is hospice care. Palliative care can be given to patients who still have many years to live, including those who may recover from their illness. 

MYTH: Palliative care is only for patients who are dying.  

TRUTH: Palliative care can help patients live longer! 

MYTH: Patients can not continue to receive other care such as chemotherapy once in palliative care. 

TRUTH: While receiving treatment from a palliative care specialist you may continue to see all of your doctors, get all desired treatments and insurance coverage.

MYTH: Palliative care means my doctor has given up hope. 

TRUTH:  If your doctor is sending you to a palliative care specialist, it’s because he wants you to have the best outcome possible!

To better inform your audience, please consider speaking to Dr. Jose Contreras, Chairman of the Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

To book an interivew, please contact Mary McGeever, PR Manager at [email protected] or 551-795-1675.