In California, many who die of cancer receive more aggressive care at the end of life than in the rest of the country. Cancer treatment also varies widely from region to region and from hospital to hospital within the state.
Measuring Up? End-of-Life Cancer Care in California (3.82 MB)
End-of-Life Cancer Care in California: Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care Data File (66 K)
This report on treatment of cancer patients in California as they approach death indicates there is sharp variation in the aggressiveness of care by region and by hospital. Such variation is not explained by differences among patients in terms of age, sex, or race. The report also shows trends in advanced cancer care from 2003–07 to 2010.
Over this period, there have been some improvements in care. Patients with advanced cancer were less likely to die in the hospital in 2010 compared to 2003–07, and slightly more likely to receive hospice care. However, compared to the national average, dying cancer patients in California spent more days in the hospital and were more likely to receive advanced life-support procedures such as endotracheal intubation, feeding tubes, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the last month of life.
The research found:
The complete report and related data tables are available as Document Downloads.