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Tag Archives: advanced cancer

Editor’s Comment: When Do You Give Up On Treating A Child With Cancer

JonathanAgin2by Jonathan Agin, Childhood Cancer Co-Editor


As each word came into focus, I was riveted, gutted and waiting for the inevitable to unfold.  While I read the article entitled When Do You Give Up On Treating A Child With Cancer, by Melanie Thenstrom published on May 12, 2016 in the New York Times magazine, I pictured so much time spent in my daughter’s small pink room waiting for the inevitability of her death.  Alexis’ story did not include a time when she got out of bed, ran around and ate pizza, as did Andrew Levy’s.  Andrew’s story, in the end, is the one that all those who hear the words, “your child has cancer” hope and pray for.  I read Thenstrom’s piece with some outside hope, although diminishing throughout, not knowing how the story unfolded.  Waiting for that next sentence to bespeak of a tragic outcome.  The same outcome that I witnessed as my daughter took her final breath on January 14, 2011 shortly after 3:00 pm.  I am happy for the conclusion that the Levy’s experienced thus far, and I hope that they make it out of the woods on the long journey that remains ahead.  And while I am being honest, I am also jealous that Alexis’ story did not have such an ending.


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End Stage Chemotherapy: A physician’s perspective

Paul Wheatley-Priceby Paul Wheatley-Price BSc, MBChB, MRCP (UK), MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Division of Medical Oncology, Chair of Medical Advisory Committee, Lung Cancer Canada


One of the hardest discussions between an oncologist and their patient occurs at the time of transition from active anti-cancer therapy to best supportive care alone. This consultation has been reported as one of the most stressful faced by the physician, and of course is a nodal event for the patient. It is also clear that patients want their physicians to be honest, up to date and compassionate in these meetings.


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