Study results: Chemo is bad for you
[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=chemotherapy&iid=8997497″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8997497/chemotherapy-close/chemotherapy-close.jpg?size=500&imageId=8997497″ width=”234″ height=”154″ /]You know, cancer has never really made me feel sick. Chemotherapy has, but I’ve never had symptoms from the cancer. Maybe if I let it grow without removing it through surgery or radiation I’d have symptoms, and maybe if it were more advanced…. but then, how more advanced does cancer get than “terminal”? Chemotherapy has, in fact, made me want to give up and die many times. Cancer hasn’t.
I’ve mentioned to my doctor and a few of you more than once that I really don’t see the point in going through 24 months of torturous treatment to buy a statistical five more months of life. What is the point of being completely miserable for 29 months total? Why not have 24 months of relative peace and comfort and go to heaven 5 months sooner?
At last there is a study that shows there is some validity behind my questions. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine, called Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer shows that “patients receiving early palliative care had less aggressive care at the end of life but longer survival.” Palliative care is “any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms, rather than striving to halt, delay, or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure.” Read the first page for yourself. It’s quite interesting.
Lung cancer is a much different cancer than breast cancer, of course, and in many ways it’s not fair to compare the two; however, I think some of results in the study apply across the board. This does not mean that I’m planning on giving up treatment, but I find it encouraging that making the “mild” choice — the choice that gives me good quality of life — might, in the end, be the choice that actually lengthens life.