What to say when someone is dying of cancer. Cancer is a disease caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. This abnormal cell growth can damage normal cells around it and in other parts of the body.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Often causes death because generally this disease does not cause symptoms at the beginning of its development, so it is only detected and treated after it reaches an advanced stage.
Cancer is a malignant disease that threatens the life of the sufferer if it is treated too late or an error occurs during treatment. There are also cancer patients who died shortly after being declared that their condition was improving.
Such conditions must have been very shocking for the family that was left behind. Because the patient is considered not showing signs of dying or near death.
Launching from crossroadshospice.com, actually, there are special signs if a cancer patient is dying or near death.
However, these signs are not certain for all cancer sufferers. The following are the symptoms and stages of death in cancer patients.
During the last week before death:
1. The sufferer loses interest in many things and has difficulty concentrating.
Patients who are usually very expressive, like to talk or do fun activities. At one point in time not wanting to do it all could characterize the stages of his death in the last week of life.
2. Tired, weak and want to sleep
In the last week of life, the sufferer usually feels weaker and gets tired easily. Then they may fall asleep more often than do the light activity.
3. Loss of appetite
Those in the last week of their lives may lose their appetite greatly. Even had difficulty eating and drinking.
During the last day before death:
1. The skin changes color
On the last day before death, usually, the sufferer’s body will feel cold and the skin will turn paler.
2. The sound from the throat
If you have accompanied someone in the seconds before dying, usually that person will make a strange sound from their throat and breathing.
Patients will also have difficulty controlling the bladder and intestines on the last day before death. This condition means that death is very close.
On the last day before death, sufferers may also look confused and delirious. Including confusion in recognizing the people closest to him during life.
Before dying, cancer patients are often more agitated. However, this anxiety is not because they are in pain.
Instead, they find it difficult to speak, feel uncomfortable, or may not be as calm as the day before.
If the person closest to you who has cancer shows these signs, consult a professional.
In addition, what to say when someone is dying of cancer. It is better for you to always accompany the patient in the last seconds of his life.
Causes of Cancer
The main cause of cancer is genetic changes (mutations) in cells. Genetic mutations will make cells abnormal. In fact, the body has its own mechanism for destroying these abnormal cells. If this mechanism fails, the abnormal cells will grow uncontrollably.
The factors that can trigger the growth of cancer cells vary, depending on the type of cancer. However, there is no specific type of cancer triggered only by one factor.
Factors that are thought to be at risk of causing genetic mutations in normal cells and failure of the body to repair them include:
- Have a history of internal cancer
- Are over 65 years of age. However, some types of cancer are more common in children.
- Exposure to radiation, chemicals (such as asbestos or benzene), or sunlight.
- Infected with viruses, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HPV.
- Long-term or high levels of hormone exposure.
- Experiencing obesity.
- Lack of movement and do not exercise regularly
- Suffering from a disease that causes chronic inflammation (long-term inflammation), such as ulcerative colitis.
- The decreased immune system, for example, due to suffering from HIV / AIDS.
Symptoms that arise due to cancer also vary, depending on the type of cancer and the organs affected by cancer. Some of the symptoms that cancer sufferers often experience are:
- A lump appears.
- Pain in any part of the body.
- Pale, weak, and tired quickly.
- Drastic weight loss.
- Disorders of bowel or bowel movements
- Chronic cough.
- Recurring fever.
- Bruising and bleeding spontaneously.
When to see a doctor
People who are at risk for cancer need to undergo regular screening and check-ups at the doctor. For example, a smoker whose family members have had cancer, or someone who frequently has multiple sexual partners without using a condom.
A person also needs to see a doctor if they experience symptoms of cancer, such as the appearance of a lump on the body, drastic weight loss, or a chronic cough. Early detection of cancer can increase the success of treatment.
Cancer sufferers need to undergo treatment from an oncologist. Furthermore, routine checks will be carried out to see if the treatment given is effective.
If the patient’s condition has improved and the cancer is declared cured, the patient still needs to have his condition checked by the doctor regularly. This examination is done to ensure that cancer does not come back.
Patients whose cancer cannot be cured also need to consult a doctor. Doctors can provide treatment to slow the progression of cancer and reduce complaints experienced by sufferers. This treatment is called palliative medicine.
Diagnosis and Stage of Cancer
To diagnose cancer, the doctor will ask about the patient’s symptoms and perform a physical examination. After that, there are several additional tests that the doctor will do to confirm a cancer diagnosis, namely:
- Laboratory test
Laboratory tests, such as blood and urine tests, can be done to check for abnormalities in the body. Doctors can also perform tumor marker examinations to detect cancer.
- Imaging test
This test can be in the form of an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, or PET scan, to see the condition of the affected organ.
In this procedure, the doctor will take a sample of a patient’s body tissue that is suspected of having cancer. A biopsy is the most accurate examination to determine whether a person has cancer or not.
Based on the results of the above examination, the doctor will determine the level (stage) of cancer. In general, the cancer grade is divided into stages 1, 2, 3, and 4. The higher the stage of cancer, the more severe the symptoms of the disease will be and the less likely it is to recover.
The level of the cancer stage is determined based on the size of cancer, whether or not the cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes, and how far the cancer has spread to other organs.
The type of treatment that the doctor will choose depends on several things, from the type of cancer, the location of cancer, the stage of cancer, the patient’s general health condition, to the patient’s wishes.
Commonly used cancer treatment methods are as follows:
Chemotherapy is done by giving drugs to damage cancer cells.
Cancer surgery is done by cutting and removing the cancerous tissue.
Using radiation exposure to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy consists of two types, namely radiation from a machine that is outside the body (external radiotherapy) or radiation from an implant device that is placed inside the body (brachytherapy).
- Bone marrow transplant
Through this procedure, the patient’s bone marrow will be replaced with new bone marrow from a donor, in order to produce new, normal, cancer-free cells.
Immunotherapy or biological therapy aims to activate the patient’s immune system to fight cancer.
- Hormone therapy
Some types of cancer, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, are triggered by hormones. Therefore, by inhibiting these hormones, cancer cell growth can be stopped.
- Targeted drug therapy
This therapy is done by providing drugs that can inhibit genetic mutations in cells.
Please note that the above cancer treatments can cause various side effects. One of them is the reduced number of white blood cells so that the patient’s body is susceptible to infection.
In 2014, more than 1.5 million Asians died from cancer. In Asia, the type of cancer that causes the most deaths in men is lung cancer, while the type of cancer that causes the most deaths in women is breast cancer.
Therefore a behavioral program is recommended to prevent cancer. Here is the program:
- Regular health checks
Consult your doctor for cancer screening tests, based on the risk factors you have.
- Get rid of cigarette smoke
Smoking can increase the risk of various types of cancer, especially lung cancer.
- Be diligent in physical activity
Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes every day.
- A healthy diet with balanced calories
Expand to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains (such as wheat), and foods rich in protein.
- Enough rest
Lack of sleep can increase the risk of developing cancer.
- Manage stress
Excess and prolonged stress can lead to cancer.
In addition to the programs above, there are several other things you also need to do to prevent cancer, namely:
- Avoid excessive sun exposure
Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, wear closed clothes when doing outdoor activities.
- Use a mask in a place full of air pollution
Motor vehicle fumes, factory fumes, smoke from burning garbage, cigarette smoke, and asbestos dust can cause cancer.
- Stop drinking alcohol
If you like to consume alcohol, start to stop the habit because alcohol can trigger cancer.
- Get vaccinated
There are two types of cancer that can be prevented by vaccination, namely liver cancer through the hepatitis B vaccine and cervical cancer with the HPV vaccine.