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States Of Care

Oooh look, another state transition diagram…

The diagram defines: three states of cancer care, the transitions between them, and the events that trigger those transitions.

Let’s start at the top of the diagram. An unfortunate soul receives a cancer diagnosis, D’oh! If it’s stage IV, it’s not curable and the patient starts receiving palliative care treatments. Surgery, radiation, and chemo are deployed against the Emperor-Of-All-Maladies (EOAM) as the disease progresses. At some unknown time later, the emperor’s legions (aka lesions) overwhelm the patient’s defenses and the transition to hospice care is triggered. Everyone knows what state transition occurs after hospice care has run its course….. Yikes!

If the diagnosis is not stage IV, the cancer may be curable. The cure is most likely surgery that excises the emperor’s growing, but still highly localized, forces. The patient escapes the cancer care death star and all becomes well. If the emperor’s army is victorious over the curative assault waves, then the palliative care state is entered and hospice care looms down the road.

As far as I know (which isn’t very far), once the patient is inside the cancer care death star, and the curative care turns out to be unsuccessful, he is on a one way trip to the dirt suit tailor shop. There are no reverse transitions from the hospice care state back to the palliative or curative states of care. The emperor forbids them!

 

P.S. Thank you Craig for the “dirt suit” tip. I couldn’t wait to write it into a post, and I can’t wait to use it again. Ahhh, the smell of fresh soil in the morning. 🙂

Categories: Cancer
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