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 hospice care and less likely to be treated aggressively at the end of life. Read the rest of this entry »