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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 39 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 33 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 21 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.

Similar questions

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 65 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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