Male patient in clinic

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness and their families. Palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stresses of coping with a serious illness so that they can live as well as possible for as long as possible. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other healthcare professionals.

Given the well-known benefits of palliative care for patients and families living with serious illness, multiple national organizations recommend patients receive palliative care soon after their cancer diagnosis and that it be an integral part of their cancer treatment plan.

Symptom Management Service

  • The UCSF Brain Tumor Center is fortunate to partner with the UCSF Symptom Management Service (SMS) to provide palliative care integrated into the medical care of adult patients living with brain tumors.
  • Our team in the Brain Tumor Center includes a Palliative Medicine physician, Neuro-Oncology social worker, chaplain, and nurses.
  • SMS works side-by-side with the Neuro-Oncology Team to:
    • Address the stresses and uncertainties of living with a serious illness
    • Assist patients and families in determining what is most important to them, making choices based on their priorities and values, and completing advance care planning documents
    • Treat pain, fatigue, and other physical symptoms related to your brain tumor and/or its treatment
    • Treat emotional and spiritual distress related to brain tumor and/or its treatment
    • Provide support to loved ones and family members
    • Coordinate with supportive services such as the UCSF Neuro-Oncology Caregiver and Survivorship programs, Psycho-Oncology, Child Life Services, and Integrative Medicine

You can request to be referred to the Symptom Management Service by your Neuro-Oncologist or any UCSF Physician or Nurse Practitioner. We are proud to offer in-person appointments within the Brain Tumor Center as well as by video and in patients’ homes (when eligible).

More about SMS >

Learn about Palliative Care for Pediatric Patients >