Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Terminal Cancer

Terminal cancer is when the only outcome of the disease is death. Cancer is a morbid subject at the best of times, however there is normally the possibility of light at the end of the tunnel in the form of complete recovery. If you are diagnosed with terminal cancer, it means there is no chance of recovery, whilst everyone is going to die one day, terminal cancer means that death is inevitable in the short term.

A patient who is labelled terminal will have a life expectancy that is lower than six months, however this is only if the cancer develops as expected. If someone contracts a terminal strain of cancer, doctors will be able to give them a rough estimation of time left but it is never accurate, it can often be shorter or longer in reality.

Stages of Acceptance

When someone contracts terminal cancer, it is obviously extremely tough for the patient and the close loved ones of that patient who will also be affected by the terrible news. The diagnosis of a terminal illness is very much like the grieving process, whereby people go through several stages before they accept the hand that fate has dealt them.

Generally, most people will experience utter disbelief or denial to begin with, it can feel like they are a dead person walking, the huge fear of the unknown of after life is a lot for people to deal with, especially when someone has been given an expiry date from a doctor. The next stage is, understandably, depression.

The previous stage is relatively short lived but the following bout of depression can last for a long time. After a patient has battled through the depression, they will come to acceptance, this is an extremely bitter sweet moment and it is when the reality really hits home.

Management And Care

The one and only thing any terminally ill patient wants is to recover, since this isn't an available avenue, the second best thing is to making their remaining time as comfortable and pain free as possible. Whilst a patient will not want a poor quality of life near the end through intense treatments, some light treatments should be used to allow for reduction of any pain and to make breathing as comfortable as possible.

The majority of patients who are diagnosed with terminal cancer will ask to completely stop aggressive methods of treatment that have severe and unpleasant side effects, however some patients will ask to carry on those intense care regimes or possibly even increase them.

This is because many patients will want to keep fighting in hope of recovery, no matter home improbable it may be. Whilst it can be hard for friends and family to see them suffering to the end, you should always respect their wishes and show full support to all their decisions.

Making The Time Special

Knowing your time on earth is coming to an end is a dark mental place to be in, this is why many people want to experience everything they never had time for. As much as it is a distraction, it means you make the most of the little time remaining, it many cases knowing that it is your last moments of life, make them more special and poignant.