Living with cancer

Living with advanced cancer

If you have been told that you have advanced cancer, you may be feeling a range of emotions. You may have suspected something was wrong, or the news has come as a tremendous shock. You and the people you care about may be concerned about what the future holds and what plans you should be making.

When healthcare professionals refer to advanced cancer, it usually means that it is a primary cancer with secondary or metastatic disease that cannot be cured. However, it there is often treatment available to slow the growth and further spread of the cancer, sometimes for months or years. Treatment can also help reduce any symptoms the cancer may be causing.

Your GP and hospital team may suggest that you and your family receive support from your local palliative care services, to run alongside the treatment you are being offered. This should not be seen as a sign that you are imminently dying, but as a useful contact and support at any stage of your illness. Read more about palliative care services in our section on coping with symptoms and treatment section. You will find more informaiton about individual cancer types in our cancer types section

If you have been affected by cancer in some way and would like to talk to someone about what you have read or need help finding information - you are welcome to drop into any Maggie’s Centre or to visit Maggie’s Online Centre and talk with a cancer support specialist.