- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Living with advanced cancer
- Key questions
- How will advanced cancer affect my day-to-day life?
How will advanced cancer affect my day-to-day life?
Cancer and its treatment affect many aspects of a person’s life. Depending on how you feel, you may be able to continue your usual routines, such as work, for some time. Or you may need to take time off or stop work altogether.
You may experience emotional changes from the cancer and its treatment, for example, some hormone treatments affect people’s emotions. Changes to your work, finances and health may also result in mood changes. See Ways to manage your emotions.
Treatment or other services can be expensive, and costs can add up. This may mean you worry about taking time off from work or getting financial assistance. For more on this, see Dealing with bills and debts.
The cancer or treatment may cause a range of side effects, such as pain, nausea, fatigue or breathlessness. These may affect what you can comfortably do and your sense of independence. For more on this, see Managing symptoms.
There can be practical issues you may have to think about to make life more comfortable, such as using medical equipment, modifying your home, or getting home help. If you need to travel a long distance from your home to the hospital, you may require transport or accommodation.
Prof Nicholas Glasgow, Head, Calvary Palliative and End of Life Care Research Institute, ACT; Kathryn Bennett, Nurse Practitioner, Eastern Palliative Care Association Inc., VIC; Dr Maria Ftanou, Head, Clinical Psychology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, VIC; Erin Ireland, Legal Counsel, Cancer Council NSW; Nikki Johnston, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Clare Holland House, Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, ACT; Judy Margolis, Consumer; Linda Nolte, Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia; Kate Reed- Cox, Nurse Practitioner, National Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia; Helena Rodi, Project Manager, Advance Care Planning Australia; Kaitlyn Thorne, Coordinator Cancer Support, 13 11 20, Cancer Council Queensland.
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The information on this page is also available for download.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment