York & North Yorkshire

York University blood cancer death study launched

York University researchers have been given £270,000 to investigate if more people with cancers of the blood could be allowed to die at home.

The three-year study will look at concerns that patients may be dying in "inappropriate" hospital settings.

Blood cancer patients are currently twice as likely to die in hospital than those suffering other forms of cancer.

The study will investigate what changes could be made to let patients die at home if they prefer.

'Quality care'

Cancers of the blood, or haematological malignancies, are the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancers in the developed world, affecting people of all ages.

Survival rates for people suffering from cancers of the blood, such as acute myeloid leukaemia, remain poor.

Dr Debra Howell, from the department of health sciences at York University, said: "Being able to die in one's preferred place is considered to be an indicator of quality end-of-life care.

"It's generally believed that the majority of people, including haematological patients, would prefer to die at home."

Dr Howell said at present there was a "distinct lack" of research into the sort of care given to people who are suffering from cancers of the blood and who are nearing the end of their lives.

The study is funded by the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity.

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