Palliative Care

VCS Treatments

Several VCS locations offer Palliative Care services to patients.

Palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life for patients facing serious illnesses by helping with a variety of areas, such as alleviation of physical symptoms or emotional assistance. Support is provided by a focus on expert symptom management and developing an understanding of care from the patient’s perspective.

Enhancing Cancer Care What Is Palliative Care and Who Receives It?

When a patient undergoes treatment for a serious illness, such as cancer, life can often be disrupted by the physical, emotional, and psychological side effects of treatment. Palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life for patients facing serious illnesses by helping with a variety of areas, such as alleviation of physical symptoms or emotional assistance. Support is provided by a focus on expert symptom management and developing an understanding of care from the patient’s perspective.

It is important to remember that palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Although hospice care employs palliative care methods of symptom alleviation, hospice specifically is end-of-life treatment intended for those with six or less months to live. Palliative care consultation is appropriate for patients in all stages of cancer treatment, starting from the time of diagnosis. It is often provided while patients are receiving curative chemotherapy. The aim is to provide an extra layer of support to patients as they deal with the complexities of managing life with cancer.

What are the Goals of Palliative Medicine?

The primary goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of the patient and their family through the treatment process. There are various ways in which this can be accomplished.

Hallmarks of palliative care include:

  • A focus on symptom management, including treatment of pain, insomnia, anxiety, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems
  • Fostering open and honest communication
  • Understanding the patient’s hopes and expectations
  • Facing the realities of treatment and how it affects one’s life, including finances, employment, and more
  • Providing support to caregivers and family

What Can I Expect During a Palliative Care Consultation?

Prior to your visit, the palliative care physician will have reviewed your medical history and clarified any questions. Various topics will be discussed, including symptoms or side effects from illness or treatment, medications that you are taking, and involvement with family or friends in providing support and decision-making. Together with your physician, you will help create a plan for managing symptoms.

Necessary prescriptions will be provided, and appropriate referrals to other members of the interdisciplinary health care team will be made. Finally, a plan for following-up and communicating with other health care providers will be initiated.

Although this may seem daunting, the palliative care physician will act as a guide to help create a plan that will facilitate smooth and comprehensive care throughout your treatment. During your consultation, it is of the utmost importance that your wishes are heard and respected.

How Can I Receive the Additional Support Provided by Palliative Care? How Do I Prepare for My Consultation?

If you are interested in the supportive services offered by our palliative care program and have not received a referral, ask your physician for more information and use this brochure as a guide. Virginia Cancer Specialists provides palliative care consultations at many of its offices. Appointments can be facilitated through your oncologist or made by calling our Central Scheduling department at (703) 208-3155.

Once you have set an appointment for a palliative care consultation, it is helpful if you prepare. Take time to write down your questions and concerns about various areas of treatment and its physical, social, emotional, psychological and financial impact. Create a list of medications and treatments. Track your symptoms and side effects. If you have an Advance Directive, bring it with you (you can also ask our staff for information on how to prepare an Advance Directive). Bring a friend or family member who can provide support and ask additional questions.

 

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                            [post_content] => Dr. Friedman’s increased interest in Palliative Medicine began early in his career when, while working as a family physician, he began to address the unique needs of patients coping with cancer diagnoses. Subsequently, he further developed his skills in pain and symptom management. In 2004, he founded the first hospital-based palliative medicine program in Northern Virginia at the Virginia Hospital Center. He served as the medical director of that award-winning program for the next decade until leaving to join Virginia Cancer Specialists.

Locally, Dr. Friedman’s leadership roles have included mentoring many young palliative medicine physicians, chairing the Virginia Hospital Center Ethics Committee, and speaking frequently on pain management. Nationally, he has had the honor of serving as one of only ten physicians from across the country on the initial test writing Committee for the American Board of Internal Medicine, developing the board examination for palliative medicine. Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Friedman has received multiple awards and honors, including the Haynes Rice Community Service Award and the CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield Outstanding Palliative Care Program Award at Virginia Hospital Center. He has served as a volunteer physician in programs such as the Arlington Free Clinic and the D.C. Partnership to Improve End of Life Care. His current focus is on improving quality of life for patients and families faced with serious illness.

In his free time, Dr. Friedman spends time at the beach with his wife. He enjoys learning about music production from his teenage son and social entrepreneurship from his 20-something daughter.

 

 


  [post_title] => Loren Friedman, M.D., F.A.A.H.P.M. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => loren-friedman-m-d-f-a-a-h-p-m [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-08 16:36:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-08 16:36:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://vacs.wpengine.com/?post_type=physician&p=497 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => physician [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 545 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2017-09-08 15:13:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-08 15:13:49 [post_content] => Dr. Siddiqui’s interest in palliative medicine began early in his career during his intership at Atlanticare Regional Medical Center. He then completed his fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Capital Caring and the National Institute of Health. Following his education, Dr. Siddiqui then practiced for seven years as a medical director serving patients at home with hospice services as well as inpatient palliative care services at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Dr. Siddiqui is experienced in pain and symptom management, as well as helping patients and families coping with advanced illness and cancer. He also regularly teaches residents and medical students. He has been published in The Hospice Companion. His current focus is on improving quality of life for patients and families faced with serious illness. In his free time, Dr. Siddiqui enjoys spending time with his wife and four daughters at the beach. He also enjoys watching sports and jogging. Dr. Siddiqui played college football at Iona College and was the captain of his high school football team. [post_title] => Muhammad Siddiqui, M.D. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => muhammad-siddiqui-md [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-16 16:14:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-16 16:14:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://vacs.wpengine.com/?post_type=physician&p=545 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => physician [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) ) )

Our Palliative Care Physicians

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