Chemotherapy near the end of life

20140310 (725x800)BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL | Online – 5 March 2014 – Even as cancer treatments become more effective, we can still wonder about the symbolic meaning behind decisions to pursue chemotherapy near the end of life. Although most patients with metastatic cancer choose to receive palliative chemotherapy, evidence suggests most do not clearly understand its intent.1 In decision making about chemotherapy, doctors are supposed to describe, and patients are supposed to understand, the direct outcomes of the proposed treatment (for example, clinical response rates and side effects). However, the broader implications of such decisions can be just as important. In the linked paper by Wright and colleagues, 2 choosing palliative chemotherapy was associated with a whole set of outcomes that may not have been known, expected, or discussed by patients, their family caregivers, and their oncologists…read more

An article from Media Watch, compiled and annotated by Barry R. Ashpole (Ontario, Canada). More reports can be found at IPCRC.NET