Study identifies eight signs associated with impending death in cancer patients

February 9, 2015 8:17 AM

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Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified eight highly specific physical and cognitive signs associated with imminent death in cancer patients. The findings, published in the journal Cancer, could offer clinicians the ability to better communicate with patients and families. They may also guide both the medical team and caregivers on complex decision making, such as discontinuation of tests and therapy, plans for hospital discharge and hospice referral.

Previous studies in end-of-life care have focused on physicians prognosticating better. However, according to David Hui, M.D., assistant professor, Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, research on how to tell if a patient has entered the final days of life has been minimal. Knowing with a hi...

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