4
February
#WorldCancerDay
#WeCanICan

Sophia, Bangladesh

Touching lives, Relieving Pain, Empowering the patient and family

The film ‘LIFE ASKED DEATH’ takes us on a journey to Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka to discover how palliative care relieves the pain affecting millions of sufferers worldwide.

An estimated 40 million people globally require palliative care each year, of whom half will require care at the end of life. In Asia alone, annual estimates indicate that 24 million people need palliative care and nearly 11 million will die, many in pain and distress because they cannot access pain medicines.

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Swallowing is not easy – Mrs Sophia Khatun supported by her sister after taking a morphine tablet to manage her pain

In Bangladesh, 60-year old Mrs Sophia Khatun had her pain brought under control with oral morphine, and how good assessment and communication helped avoid the pursuit of futile treatment, empowering Mrs Khatun and her family to make an informed decision on how she could spend quality time with her family in the remaining time she has left.   

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 Mr Sein Hla Aung, feeling less pain - after better pain control

Over in Myanmar, the physical pain and financial stress commonly experienced by patients and families are seen in Mr Sein Hla Aung’s story.  He has cancer of the floor of his mouth, eating into his chin. He not only has pain that makes him want to cry out in the night, but he is unable to work and his family faces financial issues. 

Another patient, Ms Cho Cho Win, is a single mother with cancer of the cervix with a six-year old son.  She knows she will die soon of cancer, but she does not want to die in pain. She needs morphine to do this to control her pain so that she can conserve her energy to plan for her son’s care in the future.

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In Sri Lanka, good communication by the palliative care team alleviates mental stress and empowers 38-year old lung cancer patient, Mrs Perera (not her real name), who has a young son, to plan for the future.  With the facts of her condition explained to her, she is able to understand the seriousness of her illness and this knowledge gives her new strength, removing the mental anguish of the unknown.

Apart from pain relief medications, better knowledge of their condition and support from healthcare professionals trained in palliative care help patients at the end of life resolve their mental and emotional distress, find closure in relationships, plan for the future and avert financial disasters that take place when families get into debt in the pursuit of false cures and futile treatment.

Something MUST be done, Something CAN be done, visit www.LifeAskedDeath.com to learn more.