Many cancer patients expect palliative care to cure

radiation_therapyReuters | Online – 26 June 2013 – In a survey of patients with terminal lung cancer, nearly two-thirds did not understand that radiation treatments intended only to ease their symptoms would not cure their disease.1 Among the nationwide sample of patients with advanced lung cancers, four out of five thought the radiation would help them live longer and two in five believed it might cure their cancers. “Radiation therapy can be used to relieve symptoms caused by metastatic lung cancer, such as pain from bony metastases, shortness of breath from lung tumors, or neurologic symptoms, such as weakness, from brain metastases,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Aileen Chen of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Patients with metastatic lung cancer usually live less than a year, she told Reuters…read more

1‘Expectations about the effectiveness of radiation therapy among patients with incurable lung cancer,’ Journal of Clinical Oncology, 17 June 2013. Although patients receiving radiation therapy for incurable lung cancer believe it will help them, most do not understand that it is not at all likely to cure their disease.

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