Phone Calls Improve Life for People with Advanced Cancer

Regular phone calls from specially trained nurses improved quality of life and reduced depression in rural patients with advanced cancer. However, the calls didn’t reduce cancer symptoms or time in the hospital. While patients in the telephone based-palliative care program did live slightly longer than patients who received regular care, the difference wasn’t significant.

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…  Read More

Massage Briefly Eases Pain and Helps Mood for Dying Cancer Patients

Massage from a trained massage therapist gave pain relief and raised moods for dying cancer patients immediately after each treatment.  However, the effects didn’t last over time. Researchers compared the effects of simple touch to therapeutic massage for 380 patients in a hospice program.  Randomly, some patients received up to six 30-minutes massages over a three…  Read More

Depression Can Hasten Cancer Death

Depressed patients with advanced cancer die sooner than those who are not depressed.  The more serious the depression, the more likely they are to die prematurely. Researchers in the United Kingdom screened cancer patients for depression using tests that were originally designed to diagnose depression in women after childbirth.  They looked at feelings of worthlessness and…  Read More