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My mom has later stage Alzheimer's and stage 4 lung cancer. She is on hospice care for Alzheimer's, but they won't pay for her cancer treatment injections (Faslodex). We don't know whether to let hospice go so Medicare will pay for her cancer treatment or to let the cancer treatment go and keep hospice to care for her. Hospice doesn't actually do very much....an aide gives her a shower 3 times a week and a nurse comes by once a week to check on her (blood pressure, temperature...just the basics). We don't know how painful not treating the cancer would be. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you.

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Given that he expected survival rate for stage IV lung cancer is is only around 8 to 12 months I think the main objective should be to keep her comfortable.

"In a clinical trial, commonly reported side effects seen with FASLODEX were injection site pain, nausea, muscle, joint, and bone pain, headache, tiredness, hot flashes, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, cough, constipation, shortness of breath, and increased liver enzymes".
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Discuss the consequences of not using the Faslodex with her doctors. Since she is already dying of dementia would you agree that it does not make sense to try to cure her cancer? So the question really comes down to whether Faslodex can keep her comfortable and pain-free better than hospice's typical measures can.
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What doctor ordered hospice? I don't know about whether the treatment would make your mother more comfortable but her doctor should be able to tell you. Hospice would give something for pain but again the dr might know which treatment would keep her more comfortable and which would allow her to be more alert if that is better for her. I did want to mention that home health provided through Medicare will also send a nurse once a week and an aid up to three times a week for bathing. My MIL had cancer when she passed and she had hospice and no cancer treatment but I think I would discuss this with the hospice and with your doctor. I'm sorry your mom and you are going through this.
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