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What are the treatment options for stage 4 cancer?

Answered by
Dr. G.Srinivasan


Practicing since :1991

Answered : 1414 Questions

Posted on Tue, 18 Dec 2012 in Cancer
Question: my husband has had stage 4 cancer and been getting chemo for 3 years. dr said recently that chemo is not working anymore and he has no other treatments to offer. does this mean death is near. he is still in no pain. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. G.Srinivasan 3 hours later
Welcome to XXXXXXX and thanks for our query.

It is unfortunate to hear about him. He is suffering due to none of his fault.
It is a difficult situation to convince, but i have tried my best to empathize.
If the concerned consultant has declared so, there is nothing much one can offer, except palliative care for any symptoms he has.

Pain usually means physical, but in cancer pain is late or may not happen at all. Pain as a feature of cancer, is a late manifestation and that is the reason for late diagnosis. Pain in cancer is more of mental to the patient as well as for the intimate people.

Most of the time, they will be healthy till the very end.
Death is usually due to spread of the disease either locally or to a distant organ.
Cancer can also cause what is called CACHEXIA with loss of weight, appetite and so on.
There may be bleeding from the rectum as well.

I have mentioned them not to scare but to be prepared.

All he needs is
1. Support from the family.
2. Some one to take care at all times.
3. Vitamin supplements.
4. Healthy diet as long as he can eat.
5. Management of any symptoms/complications that can arise due to the basic problem.

Normally, life expectancy for cancer with distant metastases, for which treatment has failed is about two years. It is hard to digest, but it is so unfortunate.

Best regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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