Sequential occurrence of dyspnea at the end of life in palliative care, according to the underlying cancer.
Bottom Line: Its frequency differs considerably between studies.Dyspnea frequency varied with the primary cancer site, from 24% (brain cancer) to 60% (esophageal cancer).The data for cancer patients staying for more than 6 days who subsequently died indicated that 8% of patients experienced dyspnea exclusively during the last 4 days of the life, independently of the site of the primary cancer.
Affiliation: Pôle Recherche SPES ("Soins Palliatifs En Société"), Maison Médicale Jeanne Garnier, Paris, 75015, France.Show MeSH
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Mentions: We carried out an analysis of the 3621 cancer patients who died after more than 6 days in the unit: 47% had dyspnea, 8% classified as ETD (dyspnea first occurring in the last 4 days before death), and 39% occurring earlier with respect to the patient's death. As illustrated in Figure1, the various types of cancers were classified into three groups, according to the frequency of dyspnea: rare (brain cancer), highly frequent (lung/pleura, esophagus and ENT cancers), and moderately frequent (all other cancers). The frequency of the more precocious form of dyspnea clearly differed between primary cancer sites (varying from 18% to 54%) whereas the frequency of ETD was almost constant for the various sites (8–10%); this difference was statistically significant (P < 0.001).
Affiliation: Pôle Recherche SPES ("Soins Palliatifs En Société"), Maison Médicale Jeanne Garnier, Paris, 75015, France.