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Chemotherapy for Cancer: Does it make sense?

 

 

This lady came to seek our advice regarding her husband’s liver cancer. Listen to our conversation.

Lady: If he does not take chemo – it will be three to four months (to live).

Chris: If he takes chemo?
L: Double it, six to eight months (to live).

C: But cannot cure?
L: Cannot. The doctor said that patients who take this chemo have only fifteen to twenty percent success. Don’t know why he asked us to do this. I don’t know why. My husband is very old already and he is weak.

C: One hundred people and only fifteen to twenty people successful? Successful means what?
L: Live for six to eight months – cannot cure.

C: Cannot cure?
L: Cannot.

C: Successful means (he lives for) six to eight months?
L: That means he lives longer.

C: By two times only?
L: Don’t know why er? Make patients really suffer.

C: The, six to eight months – how many times (of chemo) the doctor wants to give him?
L: Three weeks once and then after two sessions, go for CT scan and check to see if he can still do the chemo or not. If cannot do, stop. If can do, continue (with the chemo) for half a year.

C: Actually, you go to the hospital for six months and you live longer by six months – what do you end up with?
L: That’s why – don’t know why.

C: How much does it cost you?
L: I never ask, but it is not going to be cheap – certainly not cheap.

C: You never ask?
L: No, we decided not to do.

C: Did the doctor tell you, the patient will suffer or not?
L: Yes, we ask. He will vomit, hair drop…

C: Hair drop – never mind, that’s nothing.
L: But one thing, the doctor said if you do chemo the patient he will feel more comfortable. I really cannot understand.

C: Oh, he said there are patients who feel more comfortable after receiving chemo?
L: After the first chemo, the patient will suffer a lot. I have so many question marks here (pointing at various points on her head).

C: Yes, they call it quality of life. It is better.
L: I really cannot understand.

C: Actually chemo cannot help.
L: Ya, cannot cure. We ask whether can cure or not. The doctor said cannot cure. Cannot and still want (to ask) to do (chemo). Don’t know why er?