Tag Archives: end-of-life

Earlier End-of-Life Talk Associated with Less Aggressive Late Care

Early discussions about desired end-of-life care, among patients with incurable cancer, were associated with less aggressive treatment in the last month of life, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Nov. 13 online ahead of print). The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) highlighted this study for providing “the first-of-its-kind scientific evidence that timing of end-of-life discussions affects decisions” and actual treatment given at the end of a patient’s life. The study found that nearly 40% of end-of-life discussions with cancer patients happened in the last 30 days of life. Among patients who had such discussions earlier, they were much more likely to receive

“Isn’t Hospice End-of-Life Care?”

Fight Colorectal Cancer’s September 2012 patient webinar focused on issues that run rampant with misunderstanding and fear: palliative and hospice care. Dr. Jim Meadows, Director of Palliative and Hospice Care at Tennessee Oncology, led the webinar. He spoke at length about palliative care, but not surprisingly, the majority of questions toward the end of the webinar focused on hospice care. One listener had a good question that elicited a great response from Dr. Meadows. We wanted to share it with you. Q: Isn’t hospice ‘end of life’ care? Why are you saying it prolongs life when I have heard of many people having to watch for days and even weeks

Do You Have a Living Will?

Every one of us — young or old, living with cancer or cancer-free — may come to a time when we cannot speak for ourselves. An accident, serious illness, or emergency can leave us unable to make critical health care decisions. If that happens to you, is there someone who can speak up for your wishes, who knows what you want and can legally ask for it? Today, April 16, 2011, is National Healthcare Decisions Day.  Today we are urged to select someone to be our voice when we cannot speak for ourselves and complete a living will that lets our wishes be known. An advanced directive Appoints a health

Doctors Urged to Talk Discuss Palliative Care

Soon after diagnosing a patient with advanced cancer, a doctor should begin discussing options for palliative care—the management of symptoms—according to a new policy statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  ASCO also released a new, free guide called Advanced Cancer Care Planning for patients to help initiate those conversations.

Colorectal Cancer News In Brief: December 4

Briefly: A video can help patients make personal decisions about end-of-life care.  Cancer death rates are falling in Europe, partly led by recent colorectal cancer declines. Avastin will now be covered for a longer time for people with advanced colorectal cancer in Ontario.  The Wellness Community in Valley/Ventura, California has a free workshop scheduled for December 19th featuring Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz.

Talk to Your Family During the Holidays

When the family is gathered on Thanksgiving or during the upcoming holidays, have a difficult — but critical — talk together. You can save anguish and conflict when a family member is close to death by knowing what their wishes are.  You can help your family know what you want, as well.  The Engage with Grace slide helps to start the conversation You can  download one slide from Engage with Grace to start your family’s discussion.

Emotional Connection to Doctors Impacts End-of-Life Care

When patients have a sense of mutual understanding, caring, and trust with their physicians they form a therapeutic alliance that makes a difference in care at the end of their life. When the therapeutic alliance was strong, patients were less likely to spend time in an intensive care unit in the last week of life.  They also had better emotional acceptance of their terminal illness.

End of Life Discussions with Doctors Help Patients and Caregivers

When advanced cancer patients talk with their doctors about preparing for the end of their lives, they have a better quality of life as death approaches.  They aren’t more likely to be depressed, and they receive less aggressive care in the last week of life. Because it is frightening and uncomfortable, many patients don’t bring up the subject with their doctors.  Doctors avoid end-of-life discussions because they, too, find them uncomfortable and because they fear depressing patients or causing emotional problems.