More candor urged in care of dying cancer patients - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

More candor urged in care of dying cancer patients


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A medical profession that earns more from attacking tumors than from lengthy, emotional discussions about when it's time to stop is beginning an unusually strong push for planning end-of-life care.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology says too often, patients aren't told about options like comfort care or even that their chemo has become futile until the bitter end.

The group developed an easy-to-read booklet about those choices, from standard care to symptom relief, and advice about the right questions to ask.

ASCO chief executive Dr. Allen Lichter says it's not a conversation that should happen "in the back of the ambulance on the way to the ICU at 3 in the morning."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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