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Treatment choices in advanced cancer: issues and perspectives

Treatment choices in advanced cancer: issues and perspectives Treatment choices are difficult in advanced cancer, a disease in which there is little chance of a cure and in which the aim of treatment is usually to achieve palliation. With the clinical evidence and quality‐of‐life instruments currently available, it may be difficult to decide whether the burdens of cytotoxic chemotherapy are outweighed by its benefits. However, in some cancers, such as advanced colorectal cancer, there is evidence to demonstrate that chemotherapy is justified, with overall benefit to the patient. There are, nevertheless, many factors to be considered in the selection of the best possible care for each patient. These include the availability of new treatments with improved tolerability profiles, resource implications, quality of life and survival benefits (and how to assess them), the willingness or otherwise of patients to undergo chemotherapy, and information and participation preferences among patients. The differing attitudes of health care professionals and groups of patients add to the complexity of this issue. Guidelines offer one way of promoting the consistent and optimal management of patients with advanced cancer; however, individual patient choice will always take precedence over guidelines which, by definition, are devised with common needs in mind. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Cancer Care Wiley

Treatment choices in advanced cancer: issues and perspectives

European Journal of Cancer Care , Volume 7 (1) – Mar 1, 1998

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Blackwell Science Ltd
ISSN
0961-5423
eISSN
1365-2354
DOI
10.1046/j.1365-2354.1998.00066.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Treatment choices are difficult in advanced cancer, a disease in which there is little chance of a cure and in which the aim of treatment is usually to achieve palliation. With the clinical evidence and quality‐of‐life instruments currently available, it may be difficult to decide whether the burdens of cytotoxic chemotherapy are outweighed by its benefits. However, in some cancers, such as advanced colorectal cancer, there is evidence to demonstrate that chemotherapy is justified, with overall benefit to the patient. There are, nevertheless, many factors to be considered in the selection of the best possible care for each patient. These include the availability of new treatments with improved tolerability profiles, resource implications, quality of life and survival benefits (and how to assess them), the willingness or otherwise of patients to undergo chemotherapy, and information and participation preferences among patients. The differing attitudes of health care professionals and groups of patients add to the complexity of this issue. Guidelines offer one way of promoting the consistent and optimal management of patients with advanced cancer; however, individual patient choice will always take precedence over guidelines which, by definition, are devised with common needs in mind.

Journal

European Journal of Cancer CareWiley

Published: Mar 1, 1998

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