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DOCTORS WHO CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH CANCER NEED TO TALK SOONER ABOUT END OF LIFE ISSUES, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Physicians who provide care for people with cancer need to introduce the subject of end of life care and preferences much earlier in treatment, and be more frank about when interventions such as chemotherapy are unlikely to be effective, the professional society ASCO, or American Society for Clinical Oncology, has stated in new guidelines.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.

NELSON: When someone is diagnosed with cancer that is likely to contribute to the end of their life, the notion of these ASCO guidelines is that physicians should have clear and informative discussions with patients about treatment options and what the potential benefits of anticancer treatments are and potential benefits of other palliative treatments that don’t treat the cancer directly but improve quality of life and have discussions about the end of life.  What’s the setting for which someone wants to live out the end of their life, and what should be the extent of care, and make sure that the patient’s preferences, informed preferences, are the ones that really drive the care plan.   :35

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey..


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