• Is it reasonable to refuse treatments at an older age when you are too afraid of the side effects or lifestyle changes?

    Asked by HotRodTodd on Friday, May 10, 2013

    Is it reasonable to refuse treatments at an older age when you are too afraid of the side effects or lifestyle changes?

    I am just 54 now, just thinking about if this goes on for a long time like it did for my father. He was 84 and still taking treatments. I don't know what to think.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      Yes it is reasonable and that option should be considered and respected when one is at an advanced age. At 54 you are not at an older age.
      May you be guided with widsom as you discern your options.

      over 3 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      OMG--You are way too young to just give up! My Dad has been working with an oncologist on his prostate cancer for about 5 years--and Dad is 95 now!

      Surely your onc can find some sort of treatment that won't be too uncomfortable or too much of a hassle for you...and if not, why not get a second opinion? With a name like "HodRodTodd" you need to go for it--and keep on seeking the gusto in life!

      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      That never even occurred to me. I was age 67 when I had MOAS, known to those of us with this rare appendiceal cancer, as "mother or all surgeries." It's a 12-hour surgery, and it is rough. No question about that. Many people a lot younger than I am have had this surgery, and had a lot more problems than I did. Before that, I had a hysterectomy and chemo. As long as I can, I will throw whatever weapons I am given at this frickin' cancer and enjoy every day I can grab. If I can live to 84 and have had enough, that will be another story. None of us know what tomorrow will bring, much less what might happen 30 years from now. How awful would it be, if a cure were found, and we had opted out of treatment the day before?

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Several leading experts are hoping we have a cure in the next 5 to 10 years.
      Look at the M.D. Anderson site and read about all the genomic progress..
      As I have mentioned I do research as a living. I read data all day long and I think we will have that cure within a decade. I only wish I had breast or prostate ( If I had a prostate) the stats are so much better

      over 3 years ago
    • Afterglow's Avatar

      I think that is a very reasonable question. While I agree with the other comments that you are a bit young, I get the impression from your question that foregoing treatment at this stage is not your question, but what about the future. My wife and I have a dear friend, age 79, with lung cancer that is starting to progress again. She is adamant that she will not submit to chemotherapy and other treatments at this stage are not an option. Her reasoning is that she wants to enjoy what time she may have left. The side effects of chemo will be too disruptive and debilitating, especially with the expectation of only adding a couple of months to her life. We support her totally in this decision as quality of life is very important to her. However, such a decision is also always a very personal decision and will, and must, vary by the person making the decision.

      over 3 years ago
    • fusilier's Avatar

      There's an XKCD for everything:

      James 2:24

      over 3 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      Very valid concept. But before you make a decision, you have to look at all sides. Odds of recovery versus pain and suffering of treatment. If treatment offers good odds of survival, then treatment would be the sensible, logical choice despite the problems of side effects etc. If, as was mentioned in another answer, the profit of treatment is very slight (a few months of life after months and months of painful treatment) then it seems more logical (certainly understandable) to waive treatment. You need to write this all down in a pro and con list taking your own fear of the pain you think you will suffer out of the equation. Consider this as a business plan and look for the most profitable solution. Every new business goes through a period of lean and mean before you get to the sweet spot. Cancer treatment is the same situation so make sure you are practical and logical rather than just emotional in your decision.

      over 3 years ago
    • tspoon's Avatar

      As a wife with a husband w/PCa I understand what you are asking. Not familiar with your story but wait and see was not an option really.

      He is 61, I am 51. We have not had "relations" in more than 4 yrs yet we are still lovers in our heart and are satisfied mentally with everything. I am fully aware of what you are really asking, and if it meant losing him 2 yrs ago and this life, we would both do it all over again.

      The wonderful thing is once it progresses and it will, just could be yrs for you, you can start HT at any time. Depending on your story, you can start and take "vacations" regularly as well.

      Research, make your choice, and know that PCa means you can change your mind really quickly and go a different direction. Just be informed.

      over 3 years ago
    • jDay's Avatar

      You will likely live 30 more years. Treatment depends on the severity of your cancer. Get opinions and a biopsy to determine its severity. Ignoring the problem is not a solution. There are many survivors who have been treated early and cured. I am one of them.

      about 3 years ago

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