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Notification of Terminal Status and Advance Care Planning in Patients with Cancer

 Si Won Lee 
 Journal of Hospice and Palliative care (호스피스논집), Vol.25(1) : 42-49, 2022-03 
Journal Title
Journal of Hospice and Palliative care(호스피스논집)
Issue Date
Advance care planning ; Decision making ; Terminal care ; Palliative care ; Death
As population aging increases the burden of cancer, the quality of death of patients with cancer is emerging as an important issue alongside their quality of life. To improve the quality of death, it is necessary to prepare for death, allowing patients to die comfortably and with dignity at the end. Considering these issues, I aim to discuss the practical aspects of notifying the patient of the terminal phase of cancer and planning for end-of-life care (i.e., advance care planning). When cancer treatment that can extend the patent’s lifespan becomes difficult, the patient enters a treatment transition period. Treatment is shifted from life-prolonging care to life-enhancing care, and end-of-life care must be well planned. Medical providers often worry too much about whether the patient will be disappointed or psychologically traumatized when notified of the terminal phase of their cancer, thus delaying plans for end-of-life care. In fact, patients can accept their condition and prepare for end-of-life care better than we expect. During the treatment transition period, notification of terminal status should be given, and a well-prepared advance care plan should be established early when the patient has decision-making ability. In addition to conveying information, it is always necessary to be sensitive to whether the patient and caregiver understand the information and respond to their emotions.
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Yonsei Authors
Lee, Si Won(이시원) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2144-4298
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