Advanced Prostate cancer will eventually lead to our death. This is a sad truth that I know we all are very aware. In a study published Monday online in Cancer, researchers identify “eight specific physical signs” indicating a patient “with advanced cancer is entering the last days of life.” The signs that were identified were specifically identified for a person who as at most three days of life.

The study involved over 350 patients with advanced cancer, 57 percent of whom died during the study. They were either in one cancer center in the US or one in Brazil.

The researchers noted physical physical changes twice a day. They identified the following signs of impeding death:

1- an inability to close the eyelids;
2- diminishing ability to react to visual stimulation;
3- a reduced ability to react to sounds and words;
4- facial drooping; non-reactive pupils;
5- hyperextension of the neck (this causes the head to tilt further back when lying down);
6- vocal cord grunting; and
7- bleeding in the upper digestive tract.”

The authors point out that some patients will have none of the signs while others may have several, though few would have all of them.

Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.