DEAR DOCTOR K: My mother has advanced cancer and has only a few months to live. How can we help her live out her remaining days with as little pain and as much peace as possible?
DEAR READER: Sadly, as in your mother's case, there are times when cancer takes hold and doesn't let go. In that situation, palliative care can help maintain quality of life and lead to a "good death." Palliative care focuses on both emotional and physical needs. It makes relief of pain and suffering a top priority. It also provides active support to loved ones and caregivers, including information about how to take care of someone at home.