PURPOSE: Cancer has become the major cause of deaths in Korea. Planning care for patients with terminal cancer is difticult. The prediction of length and prognostic factors of survival in the terminal cancer can facilitate the planning of a supportive care program aimed at patients need. The aim of this study was to identify length and those related factor of survival in the patients with terminal cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was performed on 271 patients, who were diagnosed as terminal cancer in Seoul National University Hospital from March 1991 to February 1996. For getting the further informations about the patient, we interviewed with surviving relatives by telephone, and we requested administrative helps in order to take the informations about date of death. We examined the relations of 10 factors with survival in patients with terminal cancer. RESULTS: We could confirm 229 patients' death(84.5%) in 271 subjects. The median length of survival in patients with terminal cancer was 11 weeks(95%CI 10.0~14.0). By univariate analysis, history of surgery(p<0.01), performance(p<0.05), severity of pain(p <0.001), and dyspnea(p<0.05) were clinical factors in predicting survival. According to Cox's proportional hazard model including sex, age, history of surgery, performance, severity of pain, and dyspnea as variables, absence of surgery history(RR 1.398, 95%CI 1.038~1.882) and severity of pain(RR 1.398, 95%CI 1.044 ~1.872) showed independent prognostic value. CONCLUSION: The median survival was 11 weeks, and absence of surgery history and severity of pain were the independent prognostic factors for patients with terminal cancer.