What questions to ask Onc if patient wants to cease treatment? - 1269511

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fightmomfight
What questions to ask Onc if patient wants to cease treatment? - 1269511

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this question. We are running out of treatment options and I think my mom is beginning to consider ceasing all treatment. What are questions that I should ask her Onc to help her decide? (Ex. how will we manage her pain, guess on how long she has left.) I'm at a loss here and need some guidance. I want to lay it all out so she can make an informed decision.

JimC
Hello,

Hello,

Welcome to GRACE. I am sorry that you and your family have come to this point. When my wife Liz and I first met with her oncologist, he told us that the dual purposes of treatment for stage IV cancer were to increase the length of life and improve quality of life, and that at some point the focus will shift from the first goal to the second.

If your mom's treatment regimens have become less and less effective as time has gone on, I would probably start the conversation by asking whether her oncologist felt that further treatments would be more likely to cause added discomfort with little hope of success. This will allow you to hear his/her opinion on how appropriate it may be to cease treatment at this time. You can also ask about time frame, but as the faculty here has pointed out on many occasions, that is difficult to predict.

You will also want to inquire about palliative care/hospice, and pursue that option sooner rather than later, as many people delay too long and miss much of the assistance it can provide. These comfort specialists are very good at managing pain and other symptoms. There are even studies which show that the earlier one turns to hospice/palliative care, the longer (and better) patients live.

Good luck with your meeting, and good thoughts to you, your mom and your family.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

fightmomfight
Thank you very much, JimC. I

Thank you very much, JimC. I really appreciate your help. Words cannot express my gratitude.