Cancer refers to abnormal cell growth. It is a malignancy with hundreds of different cancer types, which includes lymphoma, prostate cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and breast cancer. For each of these, symptoms may vary according to the type. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are a few cancer treatment measures.
While receiving cancer treatment, patients have to spend most of the time in either a clinic or a hospital, however, a few cancer treatment aspects can be easily managed at their homes.
Before resorting to these home treatment facilities, the cancer patient along with their families have to consult with the multidisciplinary cancer team.
What is the Treatment for Cancer Patients?
Treatment for cancer depends on its staging. Many times, immunotherapy and hormone therapy are often combined with radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, to either slow down the growth rate of cancer or completely eradicate it.
Cancer treatment also includes supportive care from either professionals or nurses. The ultimate goal includes relieving various symptoms along with pain and general health improvement. It also provides logistical, psychological, and emotional support not only to the patient but also to their respective family members. This supportive care measure can improve the quality of life for a cancer patient.
Subsequently, in addition to curative treatment, an option of rehabilitation for cancer patients is also available. Healthcare professionals may also advise for supportive therapy, for instance, hospice care; especially, if the cancer patient has irreversible symptoms and requires pain relief while being near to the end of his life.
What Are The Benefits of Home Care Treatment for Cancer Patients?
Cancer patients often choose to receive treatment while staying at home as their personal choice. It may be because of the convenience to adjust their living situation. In many cases, patients opt for a home care treatment since a clinic or a hospital visit seems quite expensive. It also cuts down on the commuting as well as the waiting time, which can often lead to irritation amongst the patients.
Research has concluded home care for cancer patients to be beneficial. Back in 1989, a study was conducted by MacCorkle et al, using a random clinical trial that aimed to determine the effectiveness of office care versus home care for lung cancer patients. The patient count was 166. Results revealed that no significant differences were recognized in terms of pain or regression of the disease, however, a remarkable change was reported in the patient’s distress levels, their perceptions, and reduced social dependency. In simple words, the results suggested that cancer patients receiving homecare were able to maintain their independence while preventing themselves from any unnecessary symptoms of distress.
What Are The Risk Factors Included with Home Care Treatment For Cancer Patients?
Cancer comes with its own set of potential complications, along with treatment side-effects, which may not be easy to handle or be recognized without the help of a professional. People often tend to make mistakes as they resort to self-administration mode for medications.
What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Cancer Patient Home Care Treatment?
Before advising a homecare treatment plan for cancer patients, a team of healthcare professionals tend to assess their medical condition, living situation and appropriate treatment plan.
A few factors are taken into consideration, for instance:
- Evaluation of family members according to their age and quantity, in order to determine their ability for the patient’s treatment assistance.
- The condition, location, and distance of your home from a nearby hospital.
- The side-effects as well as the risk of complications of the treatment
- The treatment plan
- Any co-morbid
- The stage and the type of cancer that the patient has
What Home Care Measures Are Required For Cancer Patients?
If a cancer patient is receiving a homecare treatment, then the family is entitled to 9 basic caregiving responsibilities. These include:
- Taking notes of all the changes that occur in the cancer patients condition
- Constant monitoring of the condition of the patient
- Navigation of the healthcare set up to promote appropriate care
- Providing care while keeping a sense of independence in the patient
- Assessing of the care treatment sources
- Adjusting activities and actions on the basis of the cancer patients response
- An all-time hands-on care facility
- Following instructions while making decisions and taking proactive actions
- Assist in patient’s decision-making
- Observing and integrating
What Kind Of Medications Can be Given To Cancer Patients at Home Care?
Cancer patients can be administered with a few prescribed medications at home like:
- Suppository or administer therapies
- Chemotherapy (intravenous)
Any severe side-effects should be immediately reported to the cancer care multidisciplinary team.
How Can Families Contribute To Home Care For Cancer Patients?
Usually, families can play a significant role in the support of cancer patients. However, it is dependent on their ability and age. their contributions will include:
- Providing social as well as emotional support
- Providing assistance in daily basic activities, for instance, preparation of a meal
- Reaching out to emergency services or the patient’s care team when required
- Maintaining contact information along with a name list for cancer multidisciplinary team members
- Aiding in administering medications and helping in storing or organizing them
The cancer care team may also advise for a home care nurse, in case the family is unable to administer medications. Additionally, they can also teach the family for the safe disposal of medical waste, syringes, and needle
Contacting Cancer Care Team
The family members can contact the patient’s multidisciplinary team if:
- The patient develops alarming and unexpected condition changes
- There is an infection or a developed fever on the injection site
- The patient experiences severe side-effects
- Medication administration becomes troubling
- Spilling or missing of medication dose occurs
- A prescription refill is required
Any other allergic symptoms emergency signs are an indication to contact medical services and the cancer multidisciplinary care team immediately.
Cost of Home Care Treatment?
Homecare treatment for cancer patients is less expensive as compared to the clinic or hospital visits. Although in many cases, the cost of this home care treatment may not be covered by the patient’s health insurance. However, if your insurance plan includes the cost for this mode of treatment, then it is a more advisable option provided by your healthcare professionals.