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Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  Odette Cancer Program  >  Patient & family education  >  Palliative Care Pathfinder

Palliative Care

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This guide will help you find general information on palliative care. For specific information talk to your healthcare team (doctor, nurse, social worker) or contact the Sunnybrook Palliative Care Consult Team at 416.480.6100 ext. 7255. 

What is Palliative Care?

The World Health Organization defines palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing a life-threatening illness, regardless of where they are at in their cancer experience. Palliative care:

  • gives relief from pain and other symptoms;
  • can be helpful in any part of cancer treatment (like chemotherapy or radiation therapy), to better  understand and manage other issues;
  • uses a team approach to help with  the needs of patients and their families;
  • includes the psychological and spiritual needs and wishes of patients;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
  • supports life and looks at dying as a normal process;

The World Health Organization's full definition of palliative care can be found at  


videosVideos and podcasts

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario

  • Watch videos on advance care planning and health care consent at  

Cancer View Canada

Advance care planning: Laurelea shares her story (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)

booksBooks and Articles

You can borrow these books from the Odette Cancer Centre / Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Visit the PEARL Library (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) or call 416.480.4534 for more information.

  • When the Focus is on Care: Palliative Care and Cancer, 2005
  • If Only But for One More Moment...: In Home Palliative Care, 2011

10 Myths about Palliative Care Infographic (Canadian Virtual Hospice)




Palliative Care Clinic (Odette Cancer Centre)

  • To pick one up, please visit the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) or ask your health care team.

Planning your palliative care: A booklet to help you get ready to leave the hospital (University Health Network)

Symptom Management Guides (Cancer Care Ontario)

  • 10 patient guides to help you manage your symptoms and the side effects of cancer and treatments.
  • Please go to or visit the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) at the Odette Cancer Centre.

Advanced Cancer (Canadian Cancer Society)

  • Please go to or drop by the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) at the Odette Cancer Centre to pick one up.

Advance Care Planning Conversations: A Guide for You and Your Substitute Decision Maker (Sunnybrook)

  • Go to or drop by the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) at the Odette Cancer Centre to pick one up.

Let's Talk About It: Advance Care Planning

Go to or drop by the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) at the Odette Cancer Centre to pick one up.



Support services

Sunnybrook Palliative Care Consult Team

Telephone: 416.480.6100 ext. 7255
Ask your doctor for a referral
A diverse team of health care professionals who will help you manage your symptoms, look for community supports, help with decision-making, and navigate advance care planning.

Odette Patient & Family Support

Telephone: 416.480.4623
Location: TG-230 (T-wing, ground floor)
Free services to help you manage eating, stress, worry, financial concerns, changes in health, and daily activities.

Sunnybrook Spiritual & Religious Care

Non-Urgent Telephone: 416.480.4421
Urgent Telephone: 416.480.4244
Free services that includes peer support, support groups, online communities, a cancer information telephone line, and the Wheels of Hope Transportation Service.

Hospice Toronto
Telephone: 416.364.1666
Offers in-home support, practical assistance, personal care, emotional and social support, respite for caregivers, and more.

Canadian Virtual Hospice
Telephone: 416.364.1666
Information and support on palliative and end-of-life care, loss and grief. Use the discussion forums, read personal stories and ask a team of palliative care experts your questions.

Temmy Latner Centre
Telephone: 416.586.4800 ext. 7884
Palliative physician home visiting services within Toronto.

Home and Community Care (Central Local Health Integration Network)
Telephone: 1.888.470.2222
Connecting you with home and community care services.

Canadian Cancer Society
Telephone: 1.888.939.3333
Free services include peer support, support groups, online communities, and a cancer information telephone line.

Dr. Jay Children's Grief Centre
Telephone: 416.360.1111
A free service of grief counselling to children whose parent or sibling is dying.

Cancer Connection (Canadian Cancer Society)
An online community for people with cancer. Look for specific topics within the "Living with advanced cancer" group. 

Cancer Chat Canada

Professionally-led online support groups for people affected by Cancer.

Gilda's Club Toronto

Telephone: 416.214.9898
Location: Toronto
Free support groups including Friends and Family Support Group and more.

Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre

Telephone: 905.579.4833
Location: Oshawa
Free support services, emotional support, wellness programs and educational programs.


Telephone: 1.877.499.9904
Location(s): Several including Westerkirk House (on the Sunnybrook campus)
Free programs and services that meet the emotional, social, practical and restorative needs of people living with cancer and those who care for them.

more infoMyChart™

A secure online website where patients can get:

  • Personal health information
  • Test results
  • Appointments

For more information about MyChart™, call 416.480.6794 or go to



While this information may be useful, it is intended for educational purposes only. Please continue to ask your health care team if you have questions or concerns. For any other inquiries, please contact us at


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