Doctor insights on:
How Can A Terminally Ill Cancer Patient Survive Without Eating For How Long
Cancer and survival: There are many metabolic things that happen as we begin the last stage of our lives. There are factors that are produced that result in cachexia, which essentially does not allow nutrients to be processed. At the same time, with lack of nutrition the body redistributes nutrients to just essential life-maintaining functions, thereby decreasing the amount of calories needed to survive. ...Read more
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
What is the best way that you have found to offer comfort 4 family members of a terminally ill cancer patient?
Concrete offers: Make specific offers, like "I'm bringing a meal over this week; what night is best?" offer to update their friends via email/phone so they can spend time with their dying loved one. Mow their lawn, take their dog for a walk, pick up groceries or dry-cleaning, do the laundry... And just be available as a friend. ...Read more
Yes: In fact, I doubt there are many (or any) doctors who would be opposed to it. ...Read more
Somewhat accurate: Unfortunely often times doctors don't tell people the statistics of what may happen. Patients can be on the outside of the statistics and live longer or shorter than predicted. I always tell people this is not a tv show and i never say you have 3 months to live. People with stage 4 (metastatic) cancers can live a long time depending on the cancer. But doctors are not god and can only guide. ...Read more
Hard to answer: Based on info. U gave. Pain medicine is usually prescribed for terminal cancer, but doesn't necessarily correlate well with remaining life expectancy. If the oncologist is recommending "hospice care", that usually means less than 6 months to live. Each person is different however, so this is not necessarily 100% reliable. The main thing now is to treat pain to make the patient comfortable. ...Read more
For adrenal cancer patient on mitotane who has reached the threshold level, how long more to continue taking the pill?
See your oncologist: Interesting question that must be answered by your oncologist. ...Read more
How long should a stage four lung cancer patient with metastasis to brain and liver expect to live?
Less than 1 year: There are a number of variables here, including what kind of lung cancer, gender, whether there is a single or small number of metastasis in the brain that can be treated by surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery, general health status and age. The average survival overall is about 8 months for stage 4 disease. ...Read more
Is high iron levels a sign the end is approaching for terminal cancer patient? Given 4 weeks but has now been 16. Still, mobile but slowly sleepin more
Unlikely: High iron is not in any common prognostic database for terminal cancer patients and even these are difficult to apply to an individual patient. High iron might has too many causes in cancer. More predictive is how active the person is, what the appetite is, malnutrition level, immunity level, organ function, and so on. Many, many, other items to factor. If not on hospice, get it and ask their md. ...Read more
Depends: It depends on several factors with the most important being the stage. This is determined by what the cancer is invading in the nasopharynx, whether there are lymph nodes involved, and whether is has spread to other organs. Other factors include your age and other medical conditions. ...Read more
It depends on many f: There are many interpretations to your question. If you can tell us two items: What type of Cancer does the patient have? What is the complete blood counts report including Hb, WBC and Platelet count. Platelet counts can be low yet quite safe unless the count is dropping below 50, 000. There is some risk of excessive bleeding once the platelet count is below 20,000. If the patient is terminal, noth ...Read more
Fetal position: Could me patient is in pain, and assumes that positon in attempt to get comfortable. Could mean patient cancer is very advanced, patient is cachetic (lost lots of weight), and muscle on the elbow, knees, hips beging to contract in flexion position due to inmobility. If advanced, terminal phase is there, talk to oncologist for palliative care (comfort care) to avoid suffering. Good luck ...Read more
Not so good: When we are talking womb cancer it may mean a several thing. It is important to differentiate which one you are refereeing to. If it is ovarian cancer, the prognosis is very poor. If it endometrial cancer the prognosis is generally bad. If it is cervical cancer, the prognosis is better than the above two but still stage IV is far advanced. There are few tumors that have good prognosis even. ...Read more
Yes: There are many treatment options available for stage 4 breast cancer. Based on what type of breast cancer if ER/PR positive, HER2 positive or not. You should speak to medical oncologist to discuss all the treatment options. ...Read more
What are the survival rates for a stage three breast cancer patient? Going to chemo and following doctor orders. And what to expect. Symptoms etc.
Ask your oncologist: Most women with breast cancer do very well. Yet stage 3 breast cancer does carry risk of relapse despite good treatments. So be alert and follow instructions and remain under supervision of your doctor(oncologist) for 5-10 years. ...Read more
What is the average life expectancy or duration life for a head and neck cancer patient who has been treated with radiation?
If a stage four lung cancer patient is spread to the bones, would having a bone marrow transplant increase the likelihood of survival?
No: Bone marrow transplant would not treat the primary tumor and would be ineffective. A bone marrow transplant would introduce such high risks that it would most likely hasten the patient's demise. ...Read more
Food to avoid: No food is associated with exacerbating breast cancer. Enjoy what ever you want but in moderation of course ...Read more
Increase caloric int: Increased intake of calories is the only way to gain weight. Some foods are more rich in calories(dairy products and meat dishes) than others(pasta, grains etc). Calorie dense foods will help put on more weight. Taking a bed time snack in addition to the 3 regular meals a day will help to gain weight. ...Read more
Many ways: Very commonly organ failure will be a big clue — marrow failure, liver failure, respiratory failure, etcetera. Prior to any of these things setting in, it is very important to have end of life discussions and understand a person's wishes with regard to resuscitation, living will, healthcare surrogate, spiritual wishes, etc. ...Read more
Unfortunately nothing specific but notable decline in activity. Sometimes increase sleeping, unable to care for self. Increasing pain like symptoms. Extreme fatigue and weakness. Less communicative.
Of course laboratory assessment can be very telling with abnormalities noted in liver function and kidney function. ...Read more
Gluten and Cancer: In my opinion gluten is "bad" for everyone. It is known to increase permeability of the gut, which affects the immune system. Cancer is at least partially an immune problem, so that is bad. I'm sure some others may disagree with me, but I do have lots and lots of training in functional medicine and addressing root causes of problems, including cancers, gluten effects, and immune issues. ...Read more
No standard package: I think that you should carefully think about what they need. Support and caring are the first things and you would be that package. If you know that the person has problems preparing meals or other things that would be helpful. You should try to give things that are helpful, but with an eye to the person who you are giving them to. Try to think of things that respect their independence. ...Read more
This is like all of: The crucial questions of life: love & fear. You can get all the fear factors of what will the cancer do, and what will the treatment be like leading to how many days are left in all senses of that. We all fundamentally are here to love and be loved. Cancer does not change people, it magnifies their virtues and vices. Some need to make peace, others prepare for another day. ...Read more
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