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Nearing End Of Life From Breast Cancer

If A New Treatment Plan Is Recommended

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If new treatments or changes in your treatment are suggested, ask the same kinds of questions that should be asked about a recommended treatment at any time in your life.

Particularly focus on the goals of the recommended treatment and what would happen to your quality of life. For instance, ask:

  • What is the goal of the treatment? Is this treatment plan meant to help reduce side effects, slow the spread of breast cancer, or both?
  • What is the best we can hope for by trying another treatment?
  • Will my taking the treatment benefit other women with breast cancer?
  • What side effects are likely to accompany this treatment?
    • How severely?
    • How much can they be controlled?
    • What will the effect be on my quality of life?
  • For additional questions, see: Questions To Ask Before Deciding About A Treatment

If you have pain, do not be surprised if the recommended treatment is palliative radiation (radiation whose goal is pain relief rather than cure), chemotherapy or surgery. The objective of these treatments is to improve your quality of life even if they don't stop your cancer. Palliative chemotherapy and palliative radiation may help relieve pain and other symptoms by shrinking or removing a tumor or by slowing a tumor's spread.  

NOTE: Keep in mind that you are entitled to comfort care both during and after treatment.

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