NEW YORK (October 25, 2012)--A new study suggests that most patients getting chemotherapy for incurable lung or colon cancers mistakenly believe that the treatment can cure them rather than just buy them more time or ease their symptoms.
Researchers say doctors either are not being honest enough with patients or that patients are in denial that they have a terminal disease.
For cancers that have spread beyond the lung or colon, chemotherapy can add weeks or months and may ease symptoms, but usually is not a cure.
Cancer experts say this does not mean that patients shouldn't have it, only that they should understand what it can and cannot do.
The study is in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.