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A 17-year-old male asked:

when is cancer terminal?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rebecca Gliksman
Internal Medicine 38 years experience
Terminal cancer: Usually when you have tried all known treatments/bone marrow transplant for the cancer and the cancer keeps growing in spite of ongoing treatment, though new treatment are always being developed. Hope the individual wins against cancer.
Dr. Kathy Robinson
Family Medicine 32 years experience
There is no cure: Doctors call cancer terminal when they have done all possible treatments for a cure and the cancer still progresses threatening the life of the patient. In any illness really when there is no hope of cure and death seems inevitable we call it a terminal illness.
Dr. Tiffanie Noonan
Pediatrics 20 years experience
Very broad subject..: There is no "simple" answer. There are ever evolving treatments for cancer. One would consider cancer to be terminal when there are no treatment options that remain due to recurrence, extensive metastasis to other organs, or lack of responsiveness to the existing options. Hope & belief are important aspects of a cure - the term terminal tends to diminish them and should be used with caution.

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Similar questions

A 48-year-old member asked:

Can terminal cancers go into remission?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Thompson
Hematology and Oncology 20 years experience
Yes: Yes. Remission means "not seen"; however, the cancer may still be present on the molecular (few cells) level and return.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Is an angiosarcoma a terminal cancer?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ben Ferguson
Dr. Ben Fergusonanswered
General Surgery 10 years experience
Prognosis is poor.: Angiosarcomas are very rare and aggressive cancers that spread early. 70% of patients die within 5 years of diagnosis. The tumors are made out of newly-formed blood vessels and stimulated to grow by vegf. New biologic therapies, called monoclonal antibodies, are being developed to target these cancerous blood vessels. Not much is know about these tumors due to their rarity.
A 40-year-old member asked:

When can you stop treatment if terminal cancer?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Patient In-Charge: It is never an easy decision to stop cancer treatment, for patient and doctor both. However, at any time that a patient decides to stop care, it is entirely within their rights to do so. Hopefully, their doctor has already discussed this option well before this day arrives and has requested a hospice evaluation. While we may not cure all cancers, we have a lot to offer for comfort care.
A 45-year-old member asked:

Can docs explain what does 'terminal cancer' mean?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Hushang Haghighat
Specializes in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Yes: It depend to type and stage of cancer and no response to treatment.so it means no way to save the patient
A 46-year-old member asked:

How to know if your cancer is terminal?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Myron Arlen
Surgical Oncology 64 years experience
Depends on cancer: With certain malignancies, ie pancreatic Ca, within 3 months of treating metastatic disease one reaches terminal or near terminal state. With most malignancies spreading to an organ like liver or lung, as the disease progresses and anorexia develops with further spread while on chemo then one is moving toward a terminal state.

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Last updated Mar 17, 2017
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