(1) Her diabetes has got better.

(2) Her cancer has improved.

(3) She improved her diabetes by having a light diet.

(4) The doctor improved her cancer, so now she can leave the hospital.

Are these correct? I want to say her conditions are not that bad now or have improved, but I am not sure I can use "get better" or "improve" this way with the problems themselves (such as cancer).

1 Answer 1


It sounds odd to speak of 'improving' an illness. To improve something is usually to make it more effective, so there is an implication that the illness has become more powerful.

Colloquially, we speak of someone getting better from an illness, often meaning that they have completely recovered. Your sentences (1) and (2) would be understood, but it would be better to say "Her condition has improved" - similarly with (4). You might also say "The treatment was successful."

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