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Cancer End of Life Concerns: How Active Hospice Helps

By March 29, 2022August 15th, 2022No Comments
Blog cancer

Patients with advanced cancer suffer from a multitude of worries and symptoms beyond just their physical frailties. Hospice for cancer provides the solution to every end of life concern with cancer.

The human body is made up of trillions of cells. These cells are responsible for every functional and structural component of the body. Your body would not function without the ability to regulate cell type, growth, and death.

Cancer occurs when the body loses this ability. A malignant tumor is formed when the cells in a certain area of the body stop responding to growth and death signals. They grow even though there is not a need for them. Often, they grow wrong, with no apparent form or function. As tumors grow, they can metastasize or travel to other parts of the body. 

Cancer kills. It is the #2 leading cause of death in the United States, second only to cardiovascular disease. It kills around 600,000 people each year. According to the CDC, 1 out of every 4 deaths in the US is because of cancer.

 

When is it Time to Consider Hospice?

A patient is eligible for hospice when their cancer metastasizes to another distant location in the body. This can be at their initial presentation or as it progresses from an earlier stage despite therapy. It can also be when a patient declines further therapy after discovering the metastases. 

Some of the most common signs that death may be near include a withdrawal from family and friends, sleep changes, harder to control pain, increasing weakness, decreased appetite, subsequent weight loss and increased confusion. If you or a loved one are noticing any of these symptoms, hospice may be an option.

A Better End of Life Experience

Hospice is not about giving up on a patient. The value of hospice comes from its ability to increase the quality of life of a patient up to the very end. The American Society of Clinical Oncology and National Quality Forum confirmed this by identifying several practices that negatively affect a patient’s quality of life, quality of dying and their family’s bereavement during the end of life experience. These practices include:

  • Chemotherapy within the last 14 days of life
  • ICU admission within the last 30 days of life
  • Nonreferral to hospice
  • Late referral to hospice

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t wait. Waiting doesn’t allow you to receive the maximum hospice benefit. Studies have shown that patients who enroll for a week or less have similar quality of life scores as patients who do not use hospice at all.

Managing Cancer with Active Hospice

Patients with advanced cancer suffer from a multitude of worries and symptoms. These can be physical, including increased pain, anorexia, nausea, insomnia, and fatigue. Concerns can include psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety, and delirium. They face existential questions about end of life. They reconcile unmet hopes and fears. Patients will need help with a variety of daily tasks. They may be worried about their family’s ability to cope or even support them.

Active Hospice can provide the solution to every end of life concern with cancer. Our care team allow you to reset your goals and clarify your priorities, shifting from a treatment and curative based care plan to one centered around optimizing the time you have left. 

Some of the benefits of managing cancer with Active Hospice include:

  • Better symptom management
  • Reduced psychological distress
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased likelihood of dying in their preferred location
  • Decreased hospitalization and ICU admission
  • Lower rates of depression and suicide amongst caregivers
  • Decreased costs at the end of life

Why Choose Active Hospice

Patients with advanced cancer suffer from a multitude of worries and symptoms. These extend beyond the physical frailties and include social, psychological, and spiritual concerns. Active Hospice’s care team consists of nurses, chaplains, social workers, our medical director and so much more. We promise to provide you quality, control, and comfort as you prepare for life’s final journey. Call us today to see how we can alleviate your end of life concerns with cancer.

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