Say goodbye to the oncologist

Lehman’s journal blog again highlights the unenviable choices in Oncoland. If he had non-small-cell lung cancer that recurred after first line treatment, he would prefer to “buy a case or two of malt whiskey, and book a good hotel in Venice”, rather than choosing between docetaxel or one of the newer treatments.

Docetaxel “is more likely to give you neutropenia, diarrhoea, and vomiting, and about three times as many people have to stop taking it” than with the newer agents. Overall, those given newer agents live 2-3 months longer. The newer agents overall cost “at least ten times as much” as the older ones.

Most importantly, only 15% of people show any response to either agent.
Hence Lehman’s plan for his corpse to be “carried away on a [Venetian] canal like Wagner’s, to the strain of Liszt’s La lugubre gondola.

I’m just wondering if the enjoy-yourself option is explained as clearly to patients as the chemo?

Read the full article Mabs and choices in cancer:

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