Once colon cancer treatment is no longer working, the cancer is considered advanced. At this point, one must know what to expect. Although the condition will continue to deteriorate, the timing of death is very unpredictable.
Usually, people with cancer do not experience “sudden death.” Instead, death can last from days to weeks. However, some symptoms are synonymous with the end of life. Knowing these can help you prepare.
If you prefer, you can discuss palliative care or end-of-life care with your loved one’s doctor. These services anticipate patient needs and provide symptom relief in the final stages of life. They can change the world in their final days and hours.
This article explains what you can expect in the final stages of colon cancer.
One of the most frightening symptoms of death is pain.If your loved one dies of colon cancer, they are likely to have diffusetransfer. This means their cancer has spread from the colon to other organs and lymph nodes. Metastatic cancer usually causes pain where the cancer has spread.
When cancer patients feel pain, their doctors prescribe opioid narcotics or strong painkillers. If your loved one cannot swallow the medicine, you can give some preparations as a suppository sublingual (under the tongue) or rectally.
Since you sleep a lot at the end of your life, people often wonder how to tell if their loved one is in pain. However, even while resting, you can notice the following signs of discomfort:
- grimacing and frowning
- Shortness of breath
- irritable arms, legs, and feet
Before assuming your loved one is in pain, be sure to examine their circumstances. For example, these signs of discomfort may have simple causes, such as wet sheets or a fever.
Managing end-of-life pain
The in and out of consciousness is typical in the weeks leading up to the end of life. But in the days and hours before death, most fell asleep or nearly fell into a coma.
Quitting is not a voluntary choice – your loved ones are not ignoring you. Again, this withdrawal was not the effect of the drugs they were taking for comfort, as many family members feared.
People don’t fully understand why they quit, but it could be a combination of physical and mental exhaustion battling the disease.
A change in the way your loved one breathes could be a sign that life is coming to an end. For example, if you start seeing pauses between breaths or hear audible rattles, also known as death rattles, your loved one is likely to die within a few hours.
To make them more comfortable, try raising the head of the bed without offering any more fluids at this time. That’s because fluid can build up in the throat, making the gurgling worse.
Gurgling is not thought to cause discomfort in people, although it may be distressing to those around it.
agitated and confused
Symptoms at the end of life may include confusion, agitation and even hallucinations. Your loved one may see insects, angels, or even people you can’t see in the room. They may not recognize you, or appear upset for no apparent reason.
Medications can help them calm down and reduce these symptoms. Try not to escalate the situation. It’s best not to argue with someone you love. Instead, give them calm, gentle reassurance.
Rally is the moment when the dying person develops complete clarity or alertness. They may even ask for food after abstaining for several days. Not everyone will experience a rally at the end of their lives, but if they do, it can be confusing to the family.
Some family members may see this as a hopeful sign that their loved one is improving. No one knows why this happens to some people and not to others. A rally may last several days, or only happen for a minute or two before death.
When colon cancer is advanced, something usually happens. Knowing about them can help you emotionally prepare for this stage.
Rest assured that your doctor will provide effective medication to manage any pain. In the last days and weeks, frequent sleep, confusion, and changes in breathing patterns. Some, but not all, have moments of clarity and alertness soon before they pass.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the signs of advanced stage 4 colon cancer?
Fatigue, weight loss, bloody stools, constipation, or pencil-like stools are symptoms of stage 4 colon cancer. In stage 4, colon cancer has spread to other parts of the body, usually the liver, lungs, or the lining of the abdomen. This means that if the cancer spreads to the liver, you can also experience cancer-related symptoms, such as jaundice, in these parts of the body.
How did you die of colon cancer?
Colon cancer causes tumors to grow in the colon, hindering bowel function. Advanced cancer can spread to other parts of the body, which can lead to organ failure in the liver, lungs, or other areas. However, about 25 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer actually die from other causes, such as heart disease.
How can you make someone who died of cancer comfortable?
Focus on getting your loved one to relax in bed and avoid cramps or pain by helping them change positions every hour or two. If swallowing becomes difficult, arrange pain medication through the patch and provide borneol to stay hydrated. Maintaining a calm, stress-free environment is also a great way for them to relax.