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Chemotherapy Near the End of Life

Summary: Why would oncologists treat patients so late when life expectancy is very limited?
Air Date: 8/14/15
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Charles D. Blanke, MD
Blanke CharlesCharles D. Blanke, MD, is professor of medicine at the Knight Cancer Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University. Until recently, he was vice-president of systemic therapy for the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, and professor and chief of medical oncology at the University of British Columbia.

A member of SWOG since 1999, he served as chair of the group's Gastrointestinal Committee from 2003 to 2013. He also chairs the Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) Task Force for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Gastrointestinal Steering Committee.

He has a particular interest in pathway-driven oncology research, having been instrumental in the development of imatinib mesylate for use in patients with locally advanced and metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Blanke earned an M.D. with distinction from Northwestern University, completed residency training at the Gundersen Medical Foundation, where he served as chief resident, and was a hematology/medical oncology fellow at Indiana University, where he also served as chief fellow.

He has had positions on the faculty of Vanderbilt University.Blanke is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), an honor formerly known as the ASCO Statesman Award.
Chemotherapy Near the End of Life
When you find out that you or someone you love has cancer and time is left is limited, it could cause a wave of emotions to take over.

Not only do you have to manage those emotions, you might have to plan ahead and decide what your next step is going to be.

Even though chemotherapy can help treat cancer, it can also put you through a living hell.

Chemotherapy is used for many patients in order to help them live longer and to also help patients live better quality lives.

However, if you're near the end of your life, would you bother putting yourself through chemo?

Listen in as Dr. Charles Blanke discusses chemotherapy at end of life, as well as the pros and cons of this treatment when little time is left.