Incurable- Not capable of being cured; beyond the power and skill of medicine to remedy

Treatable- Possible to treat; responsive to treatment

Incurable does not mean Untreatable

Advanced Prostate Cancer is incurable, but it is treatable. Incurable and untreatable should never be confused. Today, there are treatments that provide varying degrees of control of advanced prostate cancer, as well as many additional treatments currently in large clinical trials (see Clinical Trials in this blog). What we cannot do is predict the extent our individual disease will be controlled by treatment, or for what period of time our disease will be controlled.

However, we can control how we respond to our disease. Elizabeth Edwards, who recently disclosed that she has recurrent breast cancer, is an example of someone who has decided to control her own life and not allow the disease to control her. Edwards has said that she will live her life in the way that she defines for herself, a life that is meaningful and full of hope, while understanding the realities of her situation.

We need to follow Edward’s example and actively decide how we will live our own life. We have to assume that our treatments will control our disease, but we must choose to control our own life. We must chose to live as Elizabeth Edwards has chosen, to continue our life, in a way that we define for our own self, one that is meaningful and full of hope, tempered with the realty of our situation.
Or, as Lance Armstrong is noted for saying, “live strong.”

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW