my husband is 53 and has kidney and iliac wing and pelvic...

1 answer | Last updated: Jul 14, 2011
Kickmetoo asked...

My husband is 53 and has kidney and iliac wing and pelvic cancer! i have promised him to not ever hospitlize him, what can i expect ?? Last night he was in a lot of pain.

Expert Answers

Andrew Putnam, M.D. is a Palliative Care physician at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.

What to expect depends on the type of cancer, how fast it grows and where it metastasizes.  It is important to discuss the possibilities with your husband’s oncologist. 

It is also important to find out whether there are treatments available and what the likelihood is of benefit to your husband from these treatments.  If there are no further reasonable treatments available, then it's best to have a discussion about hospice.  The hospice team includes the people who will make visits to your home to help keep your husband comfortable and at home.

With the metastases to bones, pain is likely to be a major problem and it is important that there be aggressive treatment for that pain, either from your oncologist, primary care doctor or a palliative care specialist.  The medications for cancer-related bone pain usually include a narcotic and if possible, often an NSAID like ibuprofen but there are other drugs as well. 

Pain and other symptoms can be controlled in most patients, but there needs to be communication about these symptoms between the patient and the treating team.  The medical team cannot know about the symptoms unless the patient tells them.