Facing end of life

Facing end of life

This section is designed to help you understand more about the issues facing people who are dying with cancer. We hope it will provide support and direction during this period.

If you have had cancer diagnosed at a late stage, or if the treatments have stopped working and remission or cure is no longer possible, you may be told that the cancer is end stage or terminal.

Everyone copes in their own way with this news. Your reaction may depend on your age, family situation, cultural background and spiritual beliefs.

We outline the emotional impact of knowing you are dying, what might happen physically, and how you can prepare for death. There is also information for carers, family and friends.

This may be the first time you have read about end-of-life issues. Read what seems useful now and leave the rest until you’re ready. Cancer Council also has information on living with advanced cancer and palliative care. You may find that one of these sections is more relevant to you at this time.

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
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Support services

Caring for someone with cancer
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

Cancer information

Emotions and cancer
People who are affected by cancer in some way can experience a range of emotions, that can be very challenging to deal with at times. Learn more.

Advanced cancer
Information for all stages of advanced cancer, from the initial diagnosis to palliative care and grief.