When should cancer treatment stop?
If you have cancer and have tried many treatments without success, it can be very difficult to know when to stop treatment. Sometimes, despite the best care, cancer continues to spread. Even if the situation is difficult to accept, the best thing to do at this time could be to stop cancer treatment. Instead, you should ask for care that ensures your comfort and pain treatments.
This leaflet explains when you should stop treatment and focus on end-of-life care. You can use this information to talk to your doctor about your options to choose the best care for you.
The first cancer treatment is often the most effective.
When you treat a tumor for the first time, you can hope that the treatment will destroy the cancer cells and prevent them from coming back. If your tumour continues to develop despite treatment, the treatment is less likely to work.
This is particularly true for cancers with solid tumors, such as breast, colon and lung cancer and sarcoma. Cancer Doctors know how these cancers grow or decline over time; they know how they respond to treatment. They found that treatment sequencing generally offers little or no benefit.
When should cancer treatment be stopped?
If you have already received three different treatments and your cancer has grown or spread, usually another treatment will not help you feel better or increase your chances of living longer. On the contrary, additional treatment could cause serious side effects that could shorten your life and reduce the quality of time you have left.
Yet many people with advanced cancer continue chemotherapy treatments, even though they have virtually no chance of helping them. These people are thus exposed to unnecessary suffering.
How do I know it’s time to stop treatment?
It is not easy for patients, their caregivers and doctors to talk about stopping cancer treatment and focus on end-of-life care. Your doctor might mention this, but sometimes you need to start the discussion. Your doctor should give you clear answers to the questions you ask.
You need to understand how advanced your cancer is. Ask your doctor about the stage of your cancer and how far it has spread. Find out what your prognosis is or how much time you have left. No one can say exactly, but your doctor should usually be able to give you an idea of your life expectancy in months or years.
You need to know if continued treatment for your cancer will help you live longer. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Fighting cancer may no longer be the best thing for you.
If there is no longer any known treatment and you wish to continue with other options, you may be eligible for a clinical trial. Clinical trials offer new experimental treatments. Ask your doctor if you are eligible for a clinical trial or visit the site.
At any time during your treatment, you can get relief from your symptoms and improve your quality of life. This is called palliative care. This care is often important during cancer treatment. If you decide to stop cancer treatment, now is the time to pay more attention to palliative care.
Palliative care improves quality of life.
They provide an additional level of support to help you and your loved ones live with cancer. Palliative care does not treat cancer, but it does help relieve pain and other symptoms. They help you and your loved ones make the most of the time you have together.
Palliative care provides access to support, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. You can get help to relieve pain, fatigue, anxiety, shortness of breath, nausea and depression. In some cases, the physician may provide palliative care. Sometimes a specialized palliative care team can work with you and your doctor to provide you with the specific care and services you need. For example, palliative radiation therapy may be appropriate, even if a non-active therapeutic approach has been adopted to treat symptoms such as pain. Ask your oncologist or palliative care team if this is an option that is right for you.
Palliative care services can be provided in your home, in a palliative care facility or in a hospital. These services include:
- medical and nursing care;
- pain relief;
- medical equipment and medication to relieve symptoms;
- psychological help for family and friends;
- social assistance services;
- respite care, to give your loved ones a break.
- Your doctor is here to answer your questions.
- Let your doctor know what additional information you need about your cancer and
- when you are ready to talk about end-of-life care.
- Questions to ask your doctor:
- How long do I have to live if I receive other treatments?
- What happens if I don’t get other treatments?
- For what purpose should I receive other treatments?
- Will treatment stop or slow my cancer or relieve my symptoms?
- What is the best way to manage my symptoms and side effects?
- What can I do to improve my quality of life?
- Would it be better for me to meet with palliative care specialists?
Park is one of the best hospital for cancer treatment in India. Park’s Cancer doctors and oncologist provide treatments for lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, blood cancer, brain tumor and liver cancer. Park’s infrastructure and advanced cancer care while combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy ensures best treatment for cancer. Park Oncology Hospital have presence in Delhi, Gurgaon, Karnal, Panipat and Faridabad.