End of life of the cancer patient: patient, family and physician perceptions

  • Lucía Arroyo Castillo a. Public Health Masters Program, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Cali, Colombia. b. Speech Pathology Department, Universidad del Cauca. Popayán, Colombia. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1261-6297
  • Angélica Arango-Gutiérrez Clinical Epidemiology Masters Program, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Bogotá, Colombia. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2980-6847
  • Esther De Vries a. Clinical Epidemiology Department, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Bogotá, Colombia. b. Biostatistics Department, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Bogotá, Colombia. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5560-2258
Keywords: Perception, Terminal care, Palliative care, Cancer, End of life, Anesthesiology


Chronic diseases such as cancer have imposed challenges on health systems. Colombia has worked on the construction and implementation of a legal framework for palliative care, but a comprehensive approach to the care provided to cancer patients at the end of their lives is still lacking. Such an approach should be based on understanding of the perceptions of its different actors in order to allow for adequate decision-making and improved support during this stage.

Currently, the infrastructure to provide adequate oncological support is insufficient, the administrative procedures that patients and families have to go through to get authorization for treatments and medications for symptom relief are overwhelming and, many times, costs must be paid out of pocket.

On the other hand, it is important to train healthcare personnel to develop communication skills to approach patients from a place of compassion, personal development and reflection, creating spaces in which patients can speak openly about their wishes, fears and worries, even if they come together with the desire to accelerate the end of life. In addition, healthcare staff should support and initiate conversations about life and the end of life between patients and their families if this communication is complicated, given its importance for healthcare, quality of life and death.

This article seeks to reflect on the end of life of the cancer patient from the perceptions of the actors involved, namely, patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.


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How to Cite
Arroyo Castillo L, Arango-Gutiérrez A, De Vries E. End of life of the cancer patient: patient, family and physician perceptions. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2022Jan.19 [cited 2022Jul.6];50(3). Available from: https://www.revcolanest.com.co/index.php/rca/article/view/1024


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How to Cite
Arroyo Castillo L, Arango-Gutiérrez A, De Vries E. End of life of the cancer patient: patient, family and physician perceptions. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2022Jan.19 [cited 2022Jul.6];50(3). Available from: https://www.revcolanest.com.co/index.php/rca/article/view/1024
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