Hospice Services

William Breitbart, Chair of MSK's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

William Breitbart, Chair of MSK's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, helps people cope with feelings related to having advanced cancer.

At some point, the burdens of your cancer treatment may outweigh the benefits, or treatment for your cancer may no longer be working. If this happens, your cancer-care team will discuss this with you.

If you are no longer receiving treatment to try to cure your cancer, you may be eligible to receive hospice services in your home or elsewhere. These services are provided by a team of experts who focus on the way you feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Your hospice team will also support your family and friends. With the additional help provided by hospice, you and your loved ones can concentrate on your life together.

Hospice services are designed to improve the quality of a person’s life, but research has shown that people enrolled in hospice live longer, too. If you choose to receive hospice care, Memorial Sloan Kettering staff will work with our hospice partners to arrange the services that are right for you.

Who provides hospice care?

Hospice care is provided by a team. This includes a doctor, nurse, home health aide, social worker, and spiritual counselor. They are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Where can I receive hospice care?

Hospice services are usually given at home with a family member or close friend serving as the primary caregiver. If you need to be admitted to the hospital, you can receive hospice services there as well.

How do I find out more about hospice care?

Ask anyone on your healthcare team for more information about hospice care. We understand that choosing hospice is your decision. Your doctor may discuss hospice services with you and your family because it may be the care that best meets your needs at this time.