Christy O'Donnell, who has advanced lung cancer, is one of several California patients suing for the right to get a doctor's help with prescription medicine to end their own lives if and when they feel that's necessary. YouTube hide caption

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For best quality of life, many cancer patients who can't be cured might do best to forgo chemo and focus instead on pain relief and easing sleep and mood problems, a survey of caregivers suggests. iStockphoto hide caption

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Cover art from Stoned. Current hide caption

itoggle caption Current

In the movie The Fault in Our Stars, having terminal cancer doesn't look so bad for Hazel, played by Shailene Woodley, and Gus, played by Ansel Elgort. James Bridges/Temple Hill Entertainment/Kobal Collection hide caption

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Hawaii ranks 49th in the nation for use of home health care services during the last six months of someone's life. Videos from ACP Decisions show patients what their options are at the end of life. ACP Decisions hide caption

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Palliative medicine physician Michael Fratkin gets off a plane after visiting a patient on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. He's recently launched a startup to support this kind of work. April Dembosky/KQED hide caption

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Paula and Ron Faber walk their dog Millie in 2009, between cancer diagnoses. Shelley Seccombe/Shelley Seccombe hide caption

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Patients who get the comforts of palliative care as well as disease treatment live longer, studies show, than those who only get treatment for the disease. Annette Birkenfeld/iStockphoto hide caption

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Dr. Tim Ihrig, a palliative care physician, treats Augie Avelleyra, 93, at his home in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Courtesy of Paula Avelleyra hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Paula Avelleyra

Smith talks with Dawn Dillard, 57, about a medical procedure at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. Dillard has uterine cancer. Annie Feidt/APRN hide caption

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Dr. Martha Twaddle talks to a patient and strokes her hair during a visit at the Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter in Skokie, Ill., in 2012. Antonia Perez/MCT /Landov hide caption

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David Oliver sits quietly as he waits for the results of a scan at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia, Mo., in 2012. The University of Missouri research professor was diagnosed with cancer in September 2011. He broke the news to colleagues via a video on the Internet. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

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Dr. Joel Policzer checks on his patient, Lillian Landry, in the hospice wing of an Florida hospital in 2009. A new study found that many terminally ill cancer patients don't fully understand their prognosis. J. Pat Carter/AP hide caption

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