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What happens if treatment declined?

Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012


I'm writing about my 94 year old dad. SCC floor of mouth 2001. Surgical resection. NED until 1 year ago. Surgical resection 2nd time this past Jan. Cancer is back. Had CT/PET/ and met w/ H&N surgeon and rad oncologist. (Dad has COPD and is not a good candidate for more surgery AND he is leaning towards no radiation or chemo.)

My bottom line is...I'm trying to figure out what to expect for end-stage disease IF he wants no treatment. I have been researching but am having trouble with finding "nuts and bolts." Is this a case of damned if he does; damned if he doesn't regarding pain and quality of life?

Don't get me wrong...I understand the "real" end-result, but I am trying to figure about eating, talking, swallowing...etc. Any guidance is appreciated.
Thank you in advance.

Posts: 571
Joined: Apr 2012

If your father is able to eating, talk, swallow, etc. he will still be able to and when he can't eat or swallow, if he wants a feeding tube can be inserted. Hospice would be great to talk with because they can explain a lot to you. It will be hard but if he elects not to undergo any further treatment, that will be his choice. Pain medication might be needed at the end and to keep him comfortable.

We had hospice the last few weeks of my mother's life. I kept her at home and they came in and checked on her, bathed her and help with medication to keep her comfortable. Mother didn't want to be left alone. She wanted us with her and to be there by her side. It was hard but I am very happy we were able to do that for her.

Wishing the best for the family -- Sharon

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