Palliative care is a medical specialty focused on improving the quality of life of people with any serious, chronic or terminal illness. It is appropriate at any age and at any point in the course of an illness and may even be recommended along with curative and life-prolonging treatments. Palliative care provides relief from symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep problems and many others. Patients facing chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiac or lung disease or kidney or liver failure can often live for years after receiving a diagnosis. For these patients, especially, palliative care is essential so that they can remain in control of their lives and care during the course of their illness.