What doctors say

Was chatting with a friend the other day and she said her mum has empheysema but its not as bad as my husbands who has moderate/severe copd,. and still smokes. Apparently the doctor told her she only had 5 years left so said no point giving up smoking as shes gonna die anyway. Shes 75.

Would a doctor tell someone with empheysema they only had 5 years left? Im inclined to think the doctor told her that would be the case if she didnt give up smoking.

18 Replies

  • perhaps he is a smoker himself!

  • How can anyone prophesy how long one is going to live! They have been proved wrong so often. Best for a GP to keep quiet about that sort of thing. I think for everyone that isn't well to take one day at a time.

  • I was told in feb this year I had five years left stopping smoking would slow it down a little but not stop change the outcome but after reading on this site how some of you lovely people go on much longer than docs predict I am not as upset as when first told, on e cigs at moment trying to come of them now , they are just as addicted as cigs was x

  • I too was given a time scale from my lung specialist last year ! I asked him right out what my life expectancy was. He told me everyone is different but if i continue smoking he'd give me 5 years .. I was shocked by his reply but glad he gave me that time scale so i can get everything in order that needs to be done ! as i can't get a life insurance due to my health and the fact am a smoker . I had to go to my local funeral service and take out an insurance with them - a lot dearer than life insurance a month but at least it puts my mind at rest - So am not leaving my loved ones in debt once my time has come !

  • So stop smoking - and prove them all wrong. x

  • pulmccm.org/2011/copd-revie...

    [Quote] COPD is a progressive disease causing inexorable decline in lung function, right? We were all taught it, but maybe no one checked first. Vestbo et al’s ECLIPSE, a simple but large and elegant observational study that continues to furnish new insights into COPD, shows the truth is far more nuanced and complicated.

    After following 2,163 patients with COPD of varying severity for 3 years, a complex tapestry of patients emerged. The mean rate of decline in FEV1 was 33 mL/year — not far off from the 20 to 30 mL/year loss observed in healthy nonsmokers in one major study. But people with COPD varied widely in their rates of FEV1 decline: the standard deviation between individuals was 59 mL — almost twice the mean (that’s big). Other interesting points included:

    Only 38% had a decline of more than 40 mL/year over the 3 years.

    Fewer than half exceeded a loss of 30 mL/year (the upper limit of physiologic decline).

    Fully 8% had an increase in FEV1 of more than 20 mL/year.

    The worse the COPD stage (FEV1), the slower the rate of decline, suggesting COPD may “burn out” over time (authors’ words). Conversely, those with milder COPD had faster FEV1 loss.

    Cumulative smoking (pack-years) had no effect on rate of FEV1 decline.

    Current smoking did markedly accelerate FEV1 decline, by an additional 21 mL/year. . . .[/Quote]

  • I was told I only had 3 months unless I stopped smoking immediately, and three years at most. That was 6 years ago. ;)

  • Yay, Toci, you show 'em! :-) :-) Alison

  • A contrary old lady???

  • You are too kind. I will take your description, although mine is probably more accurate! :)

  • Hi Gocat and Stilltruckin

    I have moderate COPD, mainly emphysema, (diagnosed three years ago), in July 2012 I had my annual assessment, I had been feeling quite breathless, even when sitting, on and off for a few months.

    My lung capacity was down by 800ml , respiratory nurse was obviously shocked, and I was later referred for X ray to see if any other 'causes' .... none found.

    I went assessment this summer, my lung function is now back to nearly what it was three years ago when diagnosed Respiratory nurse had no explanation, Ive had no exacerbations since diagnosed, not even a bad cold.

    This is a strange and very unpredictable illness.

    It is always worth looking on the bright side

    Beth xx

  • Maximum 12 months to live,17 years ago(no cigs in that time)


    Your daily humour tonic

  • I have boullus emphysema, very mild with no meds stage 1, my fev1 in 2012 was 79%, 2013 it was up to 81%.

    My doc and lung specialist stated that due to stopping smoking when I was diagnosed (2010) my lung disease should not progress, I was told that maybe in 20-25 years I may notice a difference due to natural lung function decline.

    We will see, I think this is a very complicated disease, and it's proven that no two people are the same. There are factors to be looked at for one and all, I really don't thinks anyone can give a true and accurate prediction on this disease.

    Everyone is different and leads different life styles and has developed COPD differently.

    Think all we can do is try our best and stay positive, look at the development in health care over the years, you never know what wonderful treatments are round the corner.

    David 1968

  • Very true David.

  • 3 years??? From when???

  • They gave me a maximum of three years from point of diagnosis - which was not until I was severe. My FEV1 was 22% then and they were amazed I was still working full time, which I continued to do past the date they had given for my death! I had never heard of COPD. I checked the Internet and saw that they were right! There were so many scary websites. Then I found others and calmed down. Then I came and looked on here and realised they were totally wrong.

  • hi gocat i think thats ashame being told like that they told me 12 years ago iwould be bedridden in 3years and dead in 5.Scare tactics might work for some doesnt me im afraid.Yes you can tell me how devastating this awful disease is,but im a human talk to me nicely explain and support now maybe i can work with that.My gps changed their attitude they were nasty if i had ear ache it was because ismoked everything was down to smoking grrr.not now and what a difference it has made not just to me.Janexx

  • please , please , please stop with the excuses . just stop smoking saying what is the point i only have x amount of time left so why should i bother is just a excuse not to do something about my health and a pretty lame one at that if you stopped you would feel an whole lot better i now i do . go on get it done do it!

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