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Etymology: L, terminalis + cancer, crab
an advanced stage of a malignant neoplastic disease with death as the inevitable prognosis.
terminal cancerA malignancy expected to cause the Pt's death in a short period of time–ie, wks to several months; Pts with TCs have 1+ of the following: no response to any form of therapy, tumor-related cachexia/marked weight loss, florid metastases to multiple sites or 'secondary' metastases–ie, those arising from an already metastatic focus, marked jaundice–due to liver replacement by CA, a need for constant pain medication, and compression of vital stuctures of 'impossible' surgical access. See 'Heroic' surgery, Hospice, Most significant other. Cf Spontaneous remission of cancer, Unproven therapies for cancer.
Widespread or advanced cancer, from which recovery is not expected.
See also: cancer