Posted on: 12th Oct 2018 2773 Views

Differences between Palliative Care and Curative Care

Palliative care is different medical care for people who are suffering from life-threatening serious illness issues and their families. This kind of care is focused on the early identification of the problem and the impeccable assessment of the problem, and it provides prevention and relief through the treatment of pain and other problems.

The main goal of this care is to ensure the quality of life for the patient and their family.

This care is provided by a specialised team, including doctors, other specialists, and nurses. They all work together to provide extra care for the patient. This care is provided with curative care and can be provided at any age of the patient at any stage of illness.

Palliative Care Vs Curative Care

The motive for providing palliative care:

  • Provide relief from the serious and persistent pain.
  • Provide treatment to prevent or postpone the death.
  • Provide physiological and physical care to the patient.
  • Improve the quality of life of the patient and their family.
  • Offers support so a patient can remain active until the time of their death.
  • Offers support to the patient’s family so they can cope with the patient’s illness.
  • Provide counselling to the patient and their family to address their needs.

How to provide palliative care:

This integrated service is provided through independent, public, community, and voluntary sector organisations.

1. General Palliative Care:

General care is provided at the primary and community care centres, wards, and hospitals by the GPs, nurses, social workers, allied health professionals, etc.

These centres provide care to the patients at the early stage of their journey before they enter the more severe stage of the illness, such as respiratory problems, heart failure, neurological and renal problems, etc.

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2. Specialist Palliative Care:

This care is provided to patients with more demanding illnesses, including complex psychological illnesses, end-of-liver diseases, and

This care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team with expert knowledge, competencies, and skills. This team assesses the patient more carefully, provides bereavement issue treatment accordingly, and provides spiritual, social, emotional, and psychological support to the patient and their family.

What is curative care?

Curative care is a different kind of medical treatment or therapy that is provided to cure some specific illness and improve or eliminate a symptom that a patient is experiencing.

Curative care can be provided through different approaches, but all of them have the same goal. Aggressive care is a form of curative care, which is a proactive medical care treatment that aims to eliminate some specific medical cure rather than just minimise the impact of the problem.

Curative care uses many approaches, such as antibiotics for bacterial infections, casts for broken limbs, dialysis for kidney failure, surgery, and chemotherapy.

What is the difference between curative and palliative care?

Patients and their families face lots of difficulties while suffering from a serious illness, and they don’t understand how to cure the illness or which treatment is best for the patient. They should choose palliative care or curative care.

Palliative and curative care is medical care that is provided to patients with serious illnesses. Both cares are associated with life and death issues. But presently, palliative care is focused on relieving pain and stress. On the other hand, curative care is focused on curing a specific medical issue in a patient.

Both palliative care and curative care can be provided to patients simultaneously to enhance their quality of life.

We can understand the difference between the two with some points:

1. The motive for providing the treatment:

Palliative care is provided to patients for their serious illnesses, which can improve the patient’s life.
On the other hand, curative care involves treatments that will extend the overall length of the patient’s life.

2. The goal of providing the treatment:

The goal of providing treatment is the most important difference between palliative and curative care.
Palliative care is specialised medical care that is provided to the patient for some serious and bereavement issues. This care aims to improve the quality of life of a patient by providing relief from the pain and stress of a serious illness.

Curative care is a specialised medical treatment that is provided to the patient to cure a specific health issue.

3. Treatment type:

Curative treatment is a terminal treatment that provides the terminal diagnosis of a treatment to eliminate the disease.

Palliative treatment is not a terminal treatment; if the patient is not cured through palliative care, he will refer to the Curative Care Centre or other care centres.

4. Types of surgeries:

In both cases, surgeries can be involved as a method of care.

The surgery done in curative care has aimed to remove the problem in the patient; on the other hand, the surgery done in palliative treatment has an aim to eliminate or reduce the side effects or symptoms caused by the specific illness.

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Let’s understand the difference between the two with an example:

Many patients have been diagnosed with mesothelioma pleural effusions. A decade ago, this disease was considered an immediate death disease, but not now.

Now, a patient can live longer with the disease through curative care. A patient will be recommended surgery such as pleurectomy, debulking, and omentectomy; chemotherapy and radiation such as brachytherapy; and external-beam radiation therapy.

This patient will get curative care according to the stages of the disease.

On the other hand, doctors provide palliative care to provide a better and more fulfilling life for the patient. This care is all about relief from pain, controlling the uncomfortable symptoms, and improving the quality of life of the patient.

Palliative care treatment for mesothelioma includes surgery, medication, chemotherapy, radiation, pain management, and alternative treatment procedure.


Palliative care is the care of a patient that provides relief from pain but does not cure the disease. On the other hand, curative care is care that cures the disease and tends to overcome the disease.

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