NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Part 9: Thinking about the unthinkable
Because hospice care is focused on making you as
comfortable as possible, the hospice team may stop
medications that aren’t adding anything to your overall
quality of life. The goal is to ensure that you don’t have
to take any more pills or injections than are absolutely
Providing support for family members is a core
component of the hospice approach to end-of-life care.
Most programs offer counseling and support groups for
family members, including bereavement support after
the patient has died. It can be enormously comforting to
know that your loved ones will have that kind of support
after you are gone.
Based on what you know of this cancer, what symptoms will I experience as the cancer progresses?
How will it affect my ability to do things? Drive a car? Will I be able to walk? Will it make it difficult for me to eat?
What sort of pain am I likely to experience?
What medications can I take to relieve this pain?
Are there any complementary treatments that can help? If so, can you refer me to a practitioner who has worked
with cancer patients?
Am I eligible for hospice care? Will it be covered by my insurance?
Does this hospital have an end-of-life support program for people my age? If not can you refer me to a
counselor or support group?
Questions to ask your team about:
I look at it this way—at least I have a chance to say ‘hello’ and a chance to say
‘good-bye.’ Lots and lots of people don’t get that chance.”