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Dying cancer patients better off at home

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Washington : According to a recent study, the cancer patients who choose to die at home tend to live longer.

The study from Japan suggests that oncologists should not hesitate to refer patients for home-based palliative care simply because less medical treatment may be provided.

Most people say that they would prefer to be cared for at home if they were dying, but it’s unclear if the care they receive there would be as good as the care delivered at a hospital.

Jun Hamano of the University of Tsukuba and his colleagues looked at the issue by prospectively studying 2069 patients, comprising 1582 patients receiving hospital-based palliative care and 487 receiving home-based palliative care.

Dr. Hamano noted that the cancer patient and family tend to be concerned that the quality of medical treatment provided at home will be inferior to that given in a hospital and that survival might be shortened.

He added, “However, our finding that home death does not actually have a negative influence on the survival of cancer patients at all, and rather may have a positive influence could suggest that the patient and family can choose the place of death in terms of their preference and values.”

Hamano further said, “Patients, families, and clinicians should be reassured that good home hospice care does not shorten patient life, and even may achieve longer survival.”

The study is published early online in CANCER. (ANI)

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