BEACON EMR HIPAA Disclaimer Site Map Social Media
BayCare Health System
Community Benefit Financial Assistance Policy Quality Report Card Health Library News Dr.BayCare Find Us
Services Hospitals Find A Doctor Classes & Events About Us Careers Contact Us Get E-Newsletter
HealthDay Articles & Information
 Back  Back


May We Help You?
 

Call 1-877-692-2922
Monday-Friday, 8am to 5pm

Persons with hearing and speech disabilities can reach the above number through TDD and other specialized equipment by calling the Florida Relay Service at 711.

Contact Us
Send 
e-mail
Search jobs


Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) Font Size
Print    Email
Search Health Information   

Many Mistakenly Think Radiation Might Cure Terminal Lung Cancer

Palliative radiation therapy can ease pain, but 64 percent in study thought it could cure their cancer

MONDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Many people with incurable lung cancer mistakenly believe that radiation therapy meant to ease their pain and other symptoms may cure their disease, researchers report.

This type of treatment is called palliative radiation therapy and can improve patients' quality of life, but will not cure their cancer.

The researchers looked at data from nearly 400 patients over the age of 21 with incurable lung cancer who received or were scheduled to receive palliative radiation therapy. Findings from surveys completed by the patients four months after their lung cancer diagnosis showed that most of them believed that palliative radiation therapy could help them.

The investigators found that 78 percent of the patients believed that palliative radiation therapy was "very" or "somewhat likely" to help them live longer, and 67 percent believed that it was "very" or "somewhat likely" to help them with cancer-related symptoms or problems.

However, 64 percent did not understand that palliative radiation therapy was not at all likely to cure their cancer.

The study was scheduled for presentation Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology in Boston.

"Our study found that, though most lung cancer patients are optimistic about the effectiveness of radiation therapy in relieving symptoms and prolonging life, many have inaccurate beliefs about the ability of palliative radiation therapy to cure their cancer," lead author Dr. Aileen Chen, a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said in a society news release.

"In order to help patients make informed decisions about radiation treatments near the end of life, health care providers need to improve communication and understanding about the goals and limitations of palliative radiation therapy," Chen said. "While palliative radiation therapy can be very effective at relieving symptoms from cancer, overly intensive care can also reduce patients' quality of life and lead to significant time and financial burdens for patients and their families."

On average, patients with lung cancer that has spread survive less than one year, and less than 5 percent survive five years, the study authors pointed out.

The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about lung cancer.


SOURCE: American Society for Radiation Oncology, news release, Oct. 29, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Serving The Tampa Bay Area © Copyright 2014 BayCare Health System