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There have been wonderful improvements in the early detection and treatment of a few cancer types in the last century. There have also been distinguished advances in the handling of other models. Nearly half of every patient diagnosed with cancer would indeed die at the beginning of the twenty-first century (Egestad, 2013). In the United States alone, this translated to about half a million people dying every year from the disease alone (ASCO, 2016). As the population continues toward aging, more and more people will be developing cancer cells, and the annual toll will continue to grow.
Cancer researchers have been very concerned with ensuring that every patient is treated at every stage of the disease. It is important to recognize the demand for symptom control and the usefulness of all other aspects of palliative care, from the diagnosis to the point of death (Bui, 2011). Through prominent bodies like the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, President’s Cancer Panel, and the Institute of Medicine, palliative care has become a national healthcare agenda. All of these efforts have proven that the patients do not have to encounter the choice of whether to be treated with curative intent or just to receive comfort care. Both of the two types of treatment are required in varying degrees throughout the course of cancer management, whether the final result is the prolonged life or death.
All cancer care professionals should aim to maintain the best possible quality of life for patients, allowing them to choose the type of treatment they wish to have while managing the sickness (Bui, 2011). Another principal aim should be meeting the patients’ needs when their illnesses advance by offering them adequate symptom control. Most cancer patients within the United States, however, do not have this goal met for the. Even though the country has two broad categories for patients with cancer, namely the survivors and the individuals receiving active treatment, the patients who have the advanced disease who are not on aggressive treatment or are dying have no name or face and have been given no priority in this modern age.
Most of the patients who are dying from cancer are elderly, and many of them are vulnerable. For this group of individuals, death is a spectrum of symptoms like labored breathing, pain, nausea, distress, confusion, and many other psychological as well as physical conditions that may often go undertreated or untreated and may vastly lower the quality of the patients’ remaining days (Egestad, 2013). This is so evenly true; it is well understood that not only the patient who suffers but also their loved ones and caregivers. These impacts are, however, still poorly documented. Researchers have begun to collect evidence that demonstrates that there is a substantial and mostly unrelieved financial and emotional constraints on the family members (ASCO, 2017). This fact cannot go unrecognized within the context of taking care of patients with terminal illnesses.