For patients with terminal cancer, chemotherapy does not improve quality of life
the ONA take:
Chemotherapy administered to patients with cancer who are near death does not improve quality of life and may even reduce quality of life in those who have good performance status, a recent study published in JAMA Oncology has shown.
For the study, researchers evaluated 312 patients with terminal cancer who were estimated to live no more than 6 months. The majority were receiving chemotherapy. Results showed that patients with a poor performance status who received chemotherapy achieved no improvement in quality of life during their final week prior to death.
Moreover, researchers found that in those with a good performance status, treatment worsened their quality of life compared with patients with a good performance status who were not receiving treatment.
Current American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines contend that patients with terminal cancer and a good performance status are the most likely to benefit from chemotherapy, but these findings suggest that chemotherapy given to patients at the end of life may be wasteful, unnecessary, and potentially harmful.
Chemotherapy administered to patients with cancer who are near death does not improve quality of life.
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