A new study regarding the usefulness of the most popular cancer treatment was recently published in the latest edition of the prestigious Journal of American Medical Oncology. This paper reveals that chemotherapy could be damaging to patients who are at the last stage of cancer.
The researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College took into account the data of 312 people, most of whom were men aged 59 on average. They had been diagnosed with cancer in an advanced state and they monitored these patients until they died.
More than 50 percent of these people were on chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer that uses a variety of chemical substances, such as anti-cancer drugs in order to reduce symptoms and prolong the patient’s life.
According to the researchers, the effects of chemotherapy was a worse quality of life for the cancer patients. Most of them were unable to walk on their own or perform actions to meet their basic needs.
Thus, chemotherapy led to a great deal of discomfort, both from the mental and the physical point of view. The patients who underwent chemotherapy suffered much more than those who didn’t and their last week of life was far more difficult to bear, according to the lead study author, Holly Rigerson, who works at the New York Presbitarian Hospital and Weil Cornell Medical College.
The study also quoted another reference from the American Society of Clinical Oncology that suggested there is no clinical evidence regarding the value of this type of treatment.
Even if certain types of chemotherapy are expected to prolong the patients’ lives, even that did not prove to be true.
“People put a lot of stock in treatment and they tend to overestimate the odds that treatment will work. If the goal was to improve the quality of life, these findings really raise questions about the legitimacy of that claim,” said Professor Timothy Quill from the University of Rochester Medical Centre, who did not take part in the study.
The authors of the study suggest that the benefits of chemotherapy should be seriously questioned, especially when dealing with people who are in very advanced stage of cancer.
Image Source: collective-evolution