JUN 16, 2016 5:01 AM PDT

When is it Time to Stop?


Deciding when to stop cancer treatment is an agonizing decision and one every patient makes in their own way. While the first response to an illness like cancer is to fight it with everything available, at some point the better choice is comfort care as opposed to aggressive treatments that have painful side effects and impact quality of life. When this switch from the fighting for your life to acknowledging the end of your life happens is different in every patient, but it's a defining moment in the course of the illness.

At a recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago research was presented that showed three out of four cancer patients are still getting aggressive, and likely futile, cancer treatments in the last 30 days of their lives. While this might seem like just what anyone would do to stay alive, most doctors feel that patients and their families would be better off if care switched to comfort measures instead of invasive treatments. Having treatment that alleviates pain and can give a patients time to spend away from hospitals and treatments and with their families is the model most oncologists would like to see. Convincing patients of this might take some time though.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
SEP 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
SEP 10, 2020
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
There's no doubt that the word "virus" is currently on everyone's mind. However, there's a lot mor ...
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
SEP 10, 2020
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
Snails, marine and terrestrial, are likely primarily imagined to be attached to a substrate. However, under the waves, t ...
SEP 11, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Rise of (Micro)Robots
SEP 11, 2020
The Rise of (Micro)Robots
As reflected by Moore's law, the semiconductor industry has observed a tremendous growth in microelectronics in the ...
SEP 15, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Carbon-rich Planets May Be Full of Diamonds
SEP 15, 2020
Carbon-rich Planets May Be Full of Diamonds
Researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Chicago have found that carbon-rich planets outside our ...
JAN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
JAN 08, 2021
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
The existence of dark matter has been considered a 'given' for decades as a way to understand some of the less e ...
FEB 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
FEB 10, 2021
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
Say “hello!” to the nano-chameleon, a top contender for the world’s smallest reptile. According to the ...
Loading Comments...