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Palliative Care

The mistaken impression of palliative care is that it's something that you do as an end-of-life issue.

The reality of palliative care is that it is the on-going communication between doctor and patient to insure the comfort and desired quality of life of the patient. It goes from being certain that care is taken to prevent infection from a biopsy to understanding simple side effects of diagnostic tests to the major conditions resulting from surgery, radiation, hormonal and/or chemotherapeutic treatments.

It is the assurance that proper pain medication will be available to you and administered effectively to permit you to live your life without pain.

Above all palliation means that you must not accept pain, discomfort, disabling side-effects or diminished quality-of-life; you MUST communicate with your doctors at every step of the process to understand what is to be done to you, what the possible side-effects are and how you can deal with them.

We have enclosed here an interview with Dr. Richard Payne, a foremost practitioner in palliative care, who relates his own experience with prostate cancer and gives us guidance on what we should require of our doctors.

Pain Management

National Pain Foundation - information on traditional and alternative treatments for pain.

Pain & Policy Studies Group - site provided by the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center to promote pain relief by improving public policy and communications.

National Cancer Institute Pain Control Guide - about pain control for people with cancer; how to work with your doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to find the best method to control your pain; about different types of pain medications and nondrug methods of controlling pain; how to take your medicines safely; and how to talk with your doctors and nurses about your pain and how well the treatment is working for you.

American Pain Foundation - Pain is not a condition to be endured; you do not have to suffer as part of any therapy.

Partners Against Pain - comprehensive site for patients, caregivers, advocates and healthcare professionals - a database of clinics that treat pain

Patient Advocate Foundation - through their Co-Pay Relief Program, PAF has launched a pain and nausea disease fund to serve patients suffering with chronic pain.




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In the course of disease management Blacks find themselves disadvantaged - pain management and palliative care associated with side effects from treatment and/or the progression of the disease are not always addressed. Dr. Biren Saraiya has contributed a PowerPoint presentation that can be seen here as well as audience comments and questions from the Symposium via our Symposium Portal. Our research has shown in too many cases that patients fear questioning their doctors on treatment protocols or in asking for relief from pain because there is a perception that, in doing so, they will not get the best possible treatment for their conditions. A detailed guideline for how best to obtain the best possible palliative care can be found in an interview with Dr. Saraiya in our May 2010 In The Know™ Newsletter.

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