Palliative Care for Cancer

Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s Optimizing Advanced Complex Illness Support (OACIS) program makes your cancer care journey a little easier. Our palliative care doctors and specially trained nurses work with you and your family, so you receive the services that best meet your personal preferences.

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Palliative care includes treatments and support for people with serious medical conditions, such as cancer.

Our palliative care program: Optimizing Advanced Complex Illness Support (OACIS)

OACIS has been serving the needs of people throughout the region since 2006. We make it easy to access palliative care services at home, in the inpatient setting and at outpatient clinics.

Highlights of our program include:

National recognition

OACIS is the home-based palliative medicine program in the Lehigh Valley and one of the few in the nation.

Team approach

You receive care from board-certified palliative medicine physicians. To earn board certification, these physicians passed a rigorous exam after completing medical school.

Our team also includes other experts who specialize in palliative care, such as:

  • Nurse practitioners
  • Social workers
  • Clergy

We work together to help you understand your options and receive care that reflects your wishes.

Extra support

As dedicated palliative care experts, we have more time to talk with you about the diagnosis as well as your goals and values. We typically spend more than an hour talking with patients in the hospital and even longer for home-based services. This extra support helps our team meet your needs while you receive cancer treatments.

Our palliative care services

You will need a physician referral to speak with one of our palliative care experts. For assistance, ask a member of our cancer care team, including one of our nurse navigators.

Palliative care is different from hospice care. We offer palliative care to improve quality of life for patients who have a life-threatening illness. Palliative care is available from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment and follow-up – not just when a patient is in hospice.

Hospice care is specialized comfort care for critically ill patients who are nearing the end of life. Find out more about hospice care for cancer.

Our palliative care services include:

  • Home-based palliative care: Our nurse practitioners visit you at home to learn more about your needs and preferences.
  • Palliative medicine inpatient consults: Palliative care physicians and advanced practice nurses work with our cancer care team and other hospital providers to make sure you receive care that reflects your wishes.
  • Coordination: Our palliative care providers work with Cancer Institute doctors whenever necessary to help you experience relief.
  • Supportive care: We deliver treatments and support in an outpatient clinic setting. This service is available at the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest.
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