This information is for people wanting to find out about advanced cancer. Advanced cancer is any type of cancer that has spread from its original (primary) site or has come back (recurred).
Health professionals use several terms to describe cancer that has advanced beyond early stages, including advanced, secondary, metastatic and progressive cancer. Sometimes, health professionals don’t use a particular name. On this website, we use the term “˜advanced cancer’.
Please note that some information may stir up difficult feelings, particularly if you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with advanced cancer. Read what seems useful now and leave the rest until you’re ready. You can also download a copy of Living with Advanced Cancer in PDF format below to refer to when you need.
If you come across a word you don’t understand, see the section What does this word mean? for definitions of some common medical terms.
Request a booklet
For a free printed copy of Living with Advanced Cancer please call the call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20. You can also download this information at the top of the page.
Each Understanding Cancer series booklet is reviewed and updated every two years or as new information comes to hand. The Cancer Council works with cancer doctors, specialist nurses or other relevant health professionals to ensure the medical information is reliable and up to date. Consumers also check the booklets to see they meet the needs of people with cancer.
Before commencing any health treatment, always consult your doctor. This booklet is intended as a general introduction and should not be seen as a substitute for your own doctor’s or health professional’s advice. All care is taken to ensure that the information contained is accurate at the time of publication.