Cancer patients who opt to die in their respective residences live longer than those in the hospital, according to a Japanese study. Findings also suggest that doctors should not hesitate to let cancer patients take palliative care at home, worried about the kind of treatment family members can provide.

The research, published in the journal Cancer, studied the medical records of cancer patients, of which 1,582 received palliative care in hospitals, while 487 received palliative care in the comfort of their home.

The study showed that those who received palliative care in their homes tend to live longer, which could mean that caring for a patient at home is not necessarily inferior.

"[H]ome death does not actually have a negative influence on the survival of cancer patients at all, and rather may have a positive influence," said Dr. Jun Hamano, co-author of the study from the University of Tsukuba in Japan.

The latest study also discussed the potential benefits to patients of getting hospice care in the comfort of their homes.

Other studies also showed that those terminally ill patients who took home-based care and treatment had experienced less burden caused by their illnesses. The family members' degree of grief was also less when they took their patients in their homes.

In addition, other studies also showed that the patients taken care of at home face less possibility of going back to the hospital and length of admissions was lower, too.

"Patients, families, and clinicians should be reassured that good home hospice care does not shorten patient life, and even may achieve longer survival," Hamano added.

Dying in the comfort of the patient's home is said to be less painful and gives them more peace. Moreover, this arrangement allows the family to make death arrangements based on their preferences and values.

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