Majority of younger patients dying of cancer use aggressive interventions in last month of life

the ONA take:

According to a recent study published in JAMA Oncology, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and Kaiser Permanente Southern California have found that more than two-thirds of adolescents and young adults dying as a result of cancer underwent at least one aggressive intervention during the last month of life.

For the study, researchers evaluated the use of intensive care, the emergency room, chemotherapy, and/or hospitalization in the last month of life in 633 patients aged 15 to 39 years who died of cancer between 2001 and 2010.

Results showed that young patients were more than two times as likely as patients 65 and older to receive intensive care and/or use the emergency room during the last month of life. The rate of use of chemotherapy and hospitalization was similar among both age groups. Researchers found that 22% of the adolescents and young adults used intensive care and/or the emergency room in the last month of life, 11% received chemotherapy in the last two weeks of life, and 62% were hospitalized in the last month of life.

The findings suggest that further research is warranted to determine whether younger patients dying of cancer have been adequately supported to make their end-of-life decisions.

Patient environment is important
More than two-thirds of adolescents and young adults dying as a result of cancer underwent at least one aggressive intervention during the last month of life.
More than two-thirds of adolescents and young adults dying of cancer utilized one or more aggressive interventions in the last month of life.
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