Is Chronic the same as progessive?


I have a question to ask. Is chronic the same as progressive? 

I have just been diagnosed with Radiation Enteritis (I did ask about it in an earlier post) and the surgeon said it was progressive.

I looked up the word progressive and it is very frightening. But all I can find online about Radiation Enteritis is chronic.

Thank you,

  • Hi

    Thank you for getting in touch. I’m Geri one of the nurses here at Macmillan.

    I’ve had a read through your profile and some of your other post. My goodness you have certainly had a lot to deal with. It’s great that you have had the all clear from your original cancer, but it sounds like it has left you with some difficult longer-term problems.

    The answer to your question in that sometimes chronic and progressive can be used to mean the same thing. If we were talking about a cancer that was slow growing, then we would refer to it as chronic. We may be expecting it to progressively get worse over time so we often refer to this as progressive, and both words can be used interchangeably.

    However, in your situation when we are talking about radiation enteritis as a side effect of treatment, we are more likely to refer to it as chronic. It can happen months or years after radiotherapy. We use the word chronic as although we can treat it, we can’t get rid of it completely. It usually gets to a point where it doesn’t get any worse, and the treatment is about managing it. You also asked in an earlier post if this was the same as pelvic radiation disease and the answer is yes. There are a number of clinics springing up around the UK, specifically for people who have pelvic radiation disease after cancer treatment.

    You may wish to ask your team if that is something that is available to you. Or you could speak to one of the advisors on the helpline at the Pelvic Radiation Disease Association. They also have some great information about specific treatments and a forum for patients.

    If you want to talk things over with one of the nurses. We are open 8am to 8pm every day of the week.

    Take Care

    Geri – Macmillan Information Nurse

  • Hello Geri -Macmillan

    Thank you for your lovely reply. You have put my mind at ease.

    The consultant frightened me when I was in hospital and he kept banging on about having a 3rd stoma and he wouldn't listen to my concerns as it is very hard with 2. I am too scared to eat because of him. I have reported him to my local health board and requested to change surgeons.

    I sort of thought chronic and progressive were the same. 

    Enjoy your day sending love and good vibes,