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MASCC 2016 | Hydration and nutrition in end-of-life care

David Hui, MD, MSc of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX discusses hydration and nutrition in end-of-life patients. Hydration is associated with limited side effects, even though there is some potential for swelling and fluid build-up in the body. It should be considered as a part of the treatment to reassure patient’s family. However, artificial nutrition would not be advised in this population as the risks significantly outweigh the benefits. Moreover, Dr Hui mentions physical signs of death in end-of-life patients, which may include respiration with mandibular movement, and drooping of nasolabial fold. However, the absence of these signs cannot completely rule out impending death. Recorded at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO) 2016 Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer held in Adelaide, Australia.