Living with advanced cancer

This section is for people who have advanced cancer. This means the cancer has spread from the original (primary) site or has come back (recurred). You can find trustworthy information about all aspects of your experience below.

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  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • What stage is my cancer?
  • How far has the cancer spread? How fast is it growing?
  • What is my prognosis? Do I need to have any more tests? If so, what will the tests involve?
  • How long am I likely to live? What are the usual survival times for people with this type of cancer?


  • What treatment do you suggest and why? How often will I need to have it? Will it affect my quality of life?
  • Are there any other effective treatment options for me? If not, why not?
  • What is the treatment goal? To control the cancer, or to relieve symptoms?
  • Are there any clinical trials I can join?
  • Are there any complementary therapies that might help?
  • If I don’t have treatment, what can I expect? Will it affect my quality of life?

Side effects

  • What treatment do you suggest for any pain or discomfort?
  • Are there any symptoms I should look out for and tell someone about?
  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?

Palliative care

  • What support options are available to me? Where can I get palliative care?
  • Can I call the palliative care team at any time?
  • Does the palliative care team inform my GP and other specialists about my care?
  • Do I have to pay for any palliative care services?
  • Can you help me talk to my family about what is happening?

Podcast for people affected by advanced cancer

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