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With terminal illnesses like cancer, the disease is not the only thing that requires treatment. In addition to controlling the severity and spread of the main disease, the effect it has on the other body systems including emotional, social, psychological problems and also physical issues like pain and inflammation. Though the disease has reached an advanced stage and cannot be cured, the patient can be made to be pain-free and at peace to the extent possible.
The goal of palliative care is not to cure - in fact, palliative care is in place for diseases like cancer from the time it is diagnosed and treatment is begun but becomes the major component of treatment once the cancer is identified to be in terminal stages. Therapeutic care aimed at curing the cancer is gradually reduced and palliative care assumes a bigger role. This is also called as symptomatic care, supportive care, or comfort care.
Aspects of palliative care: Once the disease is identified to be in terminal stages, then the following become considerations:
- Stay at home or hospital
- Withdraw chemotherapy and radiation?
- Withdraw feeding tube
- Spiritual discussions
- Reduce anxiety
- Good quality time with the family
- Reduce pain and suffering
As is evident, there is a huge component of social/emotional/spiritual management in addition to reducing pain and suffering:
- Physical: Pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, loss of appetite are some symptoms that need to be managed. In addition to pain killers, small exercises can be included to make them feel better, even if it is just getting a breath of fresh air.
- Social: Depression (learn the ways to handle depression), anxiety, uncertainty, fear are all looming large and they are not sure how to manage these feelings. Talking to a counselor or some close family member or friend can be a big relief - the burden is off their chest.
- Legal: There could be issues related to property, insurance, property that also need to be discussed. External help can be sought if required to provide financial counselling and legal advice.
- Spiritual: Looking into the spiritual needs and understanding the deeper meaning of life, restoring faith are some things that also can help them feel better. "Why did this happen to me?" is a question most people keep asking and while there is no answer, some solace can be provided through talks.
It is to be noted that palliative care is not just for the patient. The caretakers (family and close friends) are equally in need of some support. So, once the patient is identified to be in terminal stages, all effort is made so the final leg of the journey is peaceful and as painless as possible.
I am 66 years male with problem of involuntary leakage of urine during sleep at night. I have Diabetes which is controlled. I do not have any prostrate problem. Please suggest a medication to control my above problem.
I have pain under my right breast. It became worst while taking deep breath or changing positions while sleeping. And also pain starts at the middle. Does this pain relates to ribs or sternum. What it is. Is it serious. Please advice..
I'm 32 yes female. My mom expired becoz of breast cancer. I had done excision in left breast for sebaceous cyst. Whether I want to know it will also leads to cancer. Also how to secure myself from that. I have one daughter 3 years old. Please suggests me.
Hello, I have symptoms of BPH. I have got it checked and report says "Grade 2 PROSTATIC ENLARGEMENT WITH SIGNIFICANT POST VOID RESIDUE" Do I need to go for surgery or it can be diagnosed with medicines.
One of my relative got breast cancer it was cured but now she got it again doesn't cancer have no cure.
What are the causes of skin cancer and what are the syndrome of it also tell me it's preventive measures.
Sometime I have severe pain in my breast There may be 2 or 3 lump but I do not know what to do it? I discussed with one of the doctor he said that we have to take out that lump through h minor operation. I am not sure that operation will rectify this lump prblm for always. Please I want your advice help me.
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.
Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:
There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
- Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
- Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing (called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
- Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
- Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
- Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.
Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:
- Bone pain
- Swelling of the face, arms or neck
- Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
- Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region
Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.
Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.
Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.
I AM 66 YEARS OF AGE, MALE I AM ALWAYS ANXIOUS REGARDING MY HEALTH, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHETHER I HAVE ANY TERMINAL ILLNESS LIKE CANCER, WHAT SHOULD I DO TO CLEAR MY DOUBTS, WHAT ARE THE TESTS WHICH WILL ENABLE ME TO KNOW WHETHER I HAVE THE DISEASE OR NOT. I AM NOT HAVING APPETITE AND AM LOSING WEIGHT, IT CAN BE DUE TO MY MEDICATION FOR ATRIAL fibrillation WHICH I AM STILL TAKING. PLEASE ADVISE.
My uncle age 49 years .his brain tumor byspi report shows- Sections examined show a tumour with features of diffuse large cell lymphoma, B-cell type. Immunohistochemestry for CD20 is strongly +ve & -ve for CD3. My question is it curable or not. Which hospital better for me treatment my uncle. please suggest me.
My father(approx-90 yrs) had prostate problem in 2004 and had been operated in the same year but now (from Oct-2014) blood coming out time to time through urinal with burning sensation and clotted blood without blockage of urine.What will be the treatment please advise me ?
Is nipple discharge 7 days beforehand of menstrual beginning normal?or a sign of breast cancer?i m also having a lump like feeling in one of the breast.I m very afraid please help.
My mother is 56 year old she had carcinoma breast cancer grade 1 we did Right radical Mastectomy on 22/9/2016 before that she had 3 chemo. But now after surgery is it necessary to give chemo pls advise Our regular visit doctors had asked to give next three chemotherapy.
Hey doctor, can you tell what is cancer and how does it occur. Is there any prevention method or cure for this disease?
Good morning. Mera naam hai Dr Amol Bamane aur me Rasyog Ayurveda ka founder hun. Aaj me apko Cancer ke baare me information dene wala hun.
Cancer is regarded as a fatal and complicated disease. Iske causes hai;
- Genetical predeposition
- Alcohol or nicotin consumption. Smoking aur alcohol cancer causing hai aur ye health ke liye bohot he harmful hai.
- Lack of obese person agar acche se exercise nahi kar raha hai to ye bhi ek cause hai cancer ka.
Cancer ke symptoms hai;
- Unexpected weight gain
- Unusual bleeding
- Indigestion problem
Yeh sab cancer ke symptoms hai.
Iske liye easy diet ye hai ki aap easily digestible food lijiye, vegetarian food lijiye. Khane me zada se zada vegetables add kijiye. Aap alcohol aur Nicotin consumption band kar dijiye aur regular exercise kijiye.
Is vishay me adhik jankaari ke liye aap mujhe Lybrate ke through sampark kar sakte hai aur online consultation bhi le sakte hai.