A new study has found that perhaps chemotherapy isn't the way to go for those who are terminally ill.
Those who are reaching the end of their life due to terminal cancer may not benefit at all from chemotherapy, a new study has found.
The research suggests that giving such treatments, which can often have brutal side effects, to patients who can’t perform normal daily functions often lead to a worse quality of life, according to a Daily Mail report.
The research applies to those who have end-stage cancer, with tumors spreading to other parts of their body, and in cases where chemotherapy had little or almost zero positive effect.
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College examined 300 patients who were in the final stages of their illnesses, with half of them getting chemotherapy and the other half not getting it.
The scientists found that those who received chemotherapy typically had a worse quality of life compared to those who did not receive such treatment.
Chemotherapy didn’t appear to have much effect on the quality of life for less-functional patients who were near death, and one or multiple rounds of chemotherapy drugs were about the same in terms of life expectancy: six months or less. Two weeks after the patients died, a caretaker rated their quality of life. They found that chemotherapy tended to be no benefit to those who were near the end of their lives, and often made life worse for those who still had basic functions such as walking and light work.
The new study suggests that those at the end of their lives be considered according to how much harm they would receive from chemotherapy.