A 3-month Journey: The Case of a 29-year Old Woman With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Boateng Kubi, Fabian M. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early goal-oriented conversations at the end of life can help alleviate suffering and anxiety for surgical patients with cancer and their loved ones. This is especially important in the young adult population in whom there are limited patient-reported perspectives about their experiences at the end of life. We report the illustrative case of a 29-year-old woman who underwent palliative surgery for widely metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Her postoperative course was complicated by a proximal anastomotic stricture, bilateral pulmonary emboli, and delayed gastric emptying, ultimately leading to a functional decline in health and quality of life. Several wide-ranging palliative care needs arose during our patient’s surgery, discharge, and subsequent readmissions. In addition to our patient’s case, we discuss 3 fundamental surgical palliative care principles, and broad considerations for end-of-life management of young adults with advanced malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1449
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • advance care planning
  • cancer
  • end-of-life care
  • palliative care
  • surgical oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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