What does 'terminal' mean?

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What does 'terminal' mean?

No. of entries: 33 | Posted on 30 Jul 2011 01:52
  • Hi,

    Stupid question, but does 'incurable' mean 'terminal'?  We have no prognosis, but we know it is incurable and inoperable.  What does that really mean?

    Thanks xx

  • It's difficult to say without knowing what the diagnosis is.  I mean someone can suffer from incurable hic-cups, but it won't result in their death.

    Yes, cancer is far more serious and incurable may well mean terminal.

  • From your biography, it looks as though cancer has spread throughout your father's body.  You need to have this discussion with his oncologist.  But, the nature of cancer being what it is, it's going to be difficult to estimate any time scales.

    I wish you all the best in your fight and hope for peace and comfort.

  • Thanks Pete.  The oncologist did say 'within weeks without treatment' but I guess that is the case with most cancers left untreated.

    Thank you x

  • Usually the word Terminal is used to describe someone in their final year.

  • Hi Mollyb

    The definition depends on who gives it -The DHS defines it as somone in the last 6 months of life and removes some of the rules for claiming Disability Living Allowance.

    Mine is inoperable Prostate Cancer, but been here for 3 years since diagnosis, and reckon a another good few yet. You can have treatment, just no cure. usually due to spread to surrounding areas. Not sure it helps  - but inoperable, does not mean untreatable and also does not mean terminal.

    Not sure if this helps or confuses even more - you need to speak to the consultant involved and ask for it in plain english maybe.

    Hugs John xx

  • Hi Molly,Like sadman I was led to believe it means a year or less,I  dont want to face the day they say it about my Pete.Just wish they would find that cure in time,love to everyone Chris.xx

  • Inoperable in the case of Cancer, I guess would mean that eventually the condition would be terminal.   When that happens depends on the individual and the treatment.  In December 2010, I was told that I had Inoperable Lung Cancer and secondary Spinal Bone Cancer.  There never was a prognosis, but I got the impression that Life would be very short.  I received six sessions of Chemo in 21 day periods, the result from the latest scan shows a massive reduction in the Lung tumour size and a major improvement in the spine area, alleviating for now the need for radiotherapy.  I was never too keen on the hugely optimistic view that so many people try to tell us at the beginning of the diagnosis, we are all different, healthwise and have to take each day as it comes.  Most importantly it is the patient who has to take control, particularly regarding the suitability of some of the drugs prescribed.  Every problem that arises becomes a new challenge to solve, for example finding food and drink that does not taste so bad that it makes you sick.  I suppose the key to coping with that 'terminal' suggestion or label, is to accept it as possibly a long term prognosis. But there are more important issues to deal with in the present, like making the very best of our time, spending time with those we love, having holiday breaks or sightseeing or just writing a blog in the hope that it cheers someone up a bit !!!

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