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End-of-Life Care for Elderly Patients with Gynecologic Cancer

  • Lois M. Ramondetta
  • Maxine Grace de la Cruz
  • EdenMae C. Rodriguez
Chapter

Abstract

In general, the survival outlook for gynecologic cancer patients with advanced disease is poor. Moreover, compared with younger women, older women often present with more advanced gynecological malignancies and are more likely to die from the disease. Symptom management is the most important aspect of care for a patient with advanced disease. The issues involved in providing care directed at excellent symptom management and patient QOL are complex and numerous for elderly gynecologic cancer patients. In this chapter, we discuss some of the end-of-life issues specific to this population as well as issues found more commonly in this population with gynecological cancer and other types of cancer.

This chapter addresses four specific areas of end-of-life supportive care and management strategies for elderly patients with gynecological cancer:
  1. 1.

    Gastrointestinal obstructions, fistula, ascites, and effusions at end of life

     
  2. 2.

    Pain management issues in elderly patients

     
  3. 3.

    Fatigue, anorexia, anxiety, and depression

     
  4. 4.

    Existential issues: dignity, independence, cognition, and attainment of goals

     

Keywords

Cancer-related symptoms Pain control Bowel obstruction Psychological issues End-of-life care 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lois M. Ramondetta
    • 1
  • Maxine Grace de la Cruz
    • 2
  • EdenMae C. Rodriguez
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, Unit 1362The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Palliative Care and Rehab MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacy Clinical ProgramsThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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