Together we will beat cancer


Given 6 months to live

5 Feb 2019 21:56

Father has been given 6 months to live, Stage 4 cancer, main area is the pancreas but has also migrated to liver and kidneys. My question is, are these life expectancy estimates normally accurate given the spread of the cancer and the fact it's "stage 4" whatever that means, I should've asked the consultant but in the moment my mind went blank

Given 6 months to live

5 Feb 2019 22:55 in response to Esstee

Hi, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in November and it has spread to liver and lungs. We were told 3-6 months without treatment and 10-12 months with,  however, the treatment is currently on hold as it is making him very poorly. The consultant said the the prognosis times are very vague. Every person is different and some people given 3-6 months could go on to live another 9-12 months. It doesn't look like this will be the case for my dad, today they have decided to find him a bed in the hospice and he weighs less than 8 stone. Feel free if you want to chat. It's so hard watching your parent suffer x

Given 6 months to live

5 Feb 2019 23:20 in response to Kerry6705

Thanks Kerry, it's not easy, my father's 6 month diagnosis takes him through this month then it'll be borrowed time I suppose.He has also had his treatment put on hold, although his explanation for this was quite vague, we are a few hundred miles apart so I'm figuring I wont hear all the truth, probably his way of "protecting" his kids I suppose.


 I'm not being judgmental as to his way of dealing with the passing of news to his kids as I'm thinking I'd probably do the same. 

My father had 3 options of treatment, one which may give him up to a year but would more than likely be very I'll for 4 months. 

Another treatment which may give him an extra couple of months, again with high risk of the extra few months being spent very ill. The third option which he opted for, no extension of prognosis, more just a way to manage the onset of pain etc.

I'm not the best at explaining exactly what the consultant said as it was all a bit of a blur at the time but I'm sure you'll know what I mean


Our relationship hasn't been the greatest over the years which makes it hard, I'm wishing I could feel how I imagine others would, who have a healthy relationship and I'm sure he has the same thoughts. 

I really wish you and all your family all the strength you need to get through this, it's an evil disease and no one deserves this in their lives. 

Given 6 months to live

6 Feb 2019 09:56 in response to Esstee

Hi Esstee,

So sorry to read about your Dad's situation and prognosis.

There are four stages in cancer development - stage 4 simply means what you have already described, the cancer has spread from the site of the primary cancer to distant parts of the body. 

Six months is an estimate based on statistical averages for people diagnosed with a certain condition. The problem with averages is that they aren't much use when applied to individual patients as no-one is average. Roughly half of patients will live longer than average and the other half won't live as long. Even doctors aren't that good at guessing how long any of us have. 

I realise this won't give the answer you were looking for, the uncertainty is awful to live with.

Best wishes

Given 6 months to live

6 Feb 2019 18:03 in response to Esstee


Mum was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer 2nd Jan 2018 and died 31st Jan 2018. Mum was given 6-12 months. We watched Mum fade away and there was nothing we could do..we held her hand and made sure she was not in pain.  We are heart broken and miss her so much.  Take care


Given 6 months to live

6 Feb 2019 18:36 in response to davek

Thanks for your reply Dave,

All a bit clearer and pretty much how I thought but good to hear it from someone else. As soon as I start trying to think about it logically and try to make sense of it all my brain seems to freeze, I'm trying to make sense of something that has no rules, an impossible task. Thanks for your input,


Given 6 months to live

6 Feb 2019 18:48 in response to Jenlou


I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I wont try and say I know how you must be feeling, I dont, I can only imagine at this point, i really hope you and your family can come to terms with your loss and cherish all the happy memories you have, this is my first experience of a family member being diagnosed with cancer, no guide book about how to feel or what to do, a lot of emotions to deal with, love, anger, regret, feeling of uselessness as not able to "fix" the problem, I suppose everyone deals with it in their own way, I'm just trying to find my way 

Take care and I wish you all the strength in the world