Downsides of Cancer Care Rarely Seen in Black Media


October 7, 2011

Reuters

Few media stories on cancer venture into issues of death, dying and end-of-life care -- and outlets directed at African Americans are particularly unlikely to do so, a new study in the journal Cancer suggests. Historically, African Americans with advanced cancer have been more likely than whites to opt for aggressive treatment, and less likely to want hospice care. The goal of hospice care is to improve quality of life for terminally ill people, treating their pain and other physical and psychological symptoms. There's also evidence that hospice care, which is usually provided at home, does not speed death -- and in some cases, may help people live longer than aggressive cancer treatment would. But doctors often don't bring up options for end-of-life care -- even those caring for people with advanced cancer, said lead author Jessica M. Fishman, PhD, research associate professor of Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine and the Annenberg School for Communication, in a ReutersHealth article. Read More