For many individuals, cancer treatments could stop the spread of the cancer and even cure it, if the cancer is in its early stage. Unfortunately, not all cancers are curable. There are also instances where treatments stop working altogether or the cancer gets to a stage where it’s incurable.
This is known as terminal or advanced cancer. Having advanced cancer prompts you to face end-of-life issues. While this is extremely difficult, it’s the reality for most people, but this does not mean that you’re out of options, note hospice care specialists in Indiana.
There have been cases wherein advance cancer patients lived on for years after being given a life expectancy of a few months. With this in mind, knowing about advanced cancer options could help you make more informed decisions.
Assessing Your Needs
It’s important that you speak with your doctor about what having advanced cancer would affect your treatment options and quality of life. Ask about available treatment options, what you could expect to gain, the potential side effects, and expected results.
Bring your family along when consult with your doctor so that they would know everything there is to know about what you stand to face.
Reviewing Available Treatment Options
Depending on your specific circumstances, you could still opt for treatment, but your goals would be different, such that your treatment would be focused on controlling and alleviating symptoms rather than curing your cancer.
Treatment usually includes immunotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. These could help maintain your quality of life and perhaps help stretch whatever time you have left.
When Treatments Stop Working
In the event that your treatments suddenly stopped working, you still have options:
- Hospice Care. You might opt for hospice care if you’re certain about stopping cancer treatment and instead focus on controlling your pain, improving your symptoms, and making your remaining time on earth as comfortable as possible, notes a top hospice care provider.
- Home Care. With this care option, you receive treatment and care at home rather than the hospital.
- Palliative Care. This option could help treat and prevent your cancer side effects and symptoms. It could help make your quality of life much better and provide help with your spiritual and emotional issues. You could receive palliative care regardless of which stage your cancer is at.
To Stop or Continue Treatment
When dealing with advanced cancer, it’s crucial that you also understand the benefits and risks of continuing vs. stopping treatment because every case is different. Majority of treatment options come with side effects that could significantly impact your quality of life.
Some individuals want to continue treatment no matter the side effects, while others opt out of treatment simply because they feel that the potential benefit isn’t worth the risk.
Stopping or continuing treatment is a hugely personal decision that you should ideally make together with your family and doctor. The main thing to remember is that in the event that you decide to stop treatment, you are not choosing to die, but choosing how you want to live in your remaining time.