Advanced lung cancer
Advanced lung cancer is cancer that has spread outside the lung and to other parts of the body. It can often be treated to control the cancer, slow down its spread, and manage any symptoms.
Because lung cancer rarely causes obvious symptoms in the early stages, many people are diagnosed when the cancer is advanced (stage IV). This means the cancer has spread outside the lung to other parts of the body. The goal of treatment will be to maintain quality of life by controlling the cancer, slowing down its spread and managing any symptoms (palliative treatment).
Depending on the symptoms, you may get these treatments:
Specific treatments to improve breathing are covered in Managing symptoms.
For more on living with an advanced cancer diagnosis, see Advanced cancer or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
- Living with Advanced Cancer Download PDF490kB
- Overcoming Cancer Pain Download PDF269kB
- Caring for Someone with Cancer Download PDF442kB
- Understanding Palliative Care Download PDF423kB
- Living with Advanced Cancer ebook Download ePUB483kB
- Overcoming Cancer Pain ebook Download ePUB523kB
- Caring for Someone with Cancer ebook Download ePUB1.16MB
- Understanding Palliative Care ebook Download ePUB421kB
Dr Henry Marshall, Thoracic Physician, The University of Queensland Thoracic Research Centre, The Prince Charles Hospital, QLD; Dr Naveed Alam, Thoracic Surgeon, St Vincent’s Melbourne and Epworth Richmond Hospitals, VIC; A/Prof Martin Borg, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, SA; Dr Lisa Briggs, Consumer; Kirsten Mooney, Thoracic Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network, WA; Claire Mulvihill, Lung Cancer Support Nurse, Lung Foundation Australia; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; A/Prof Nick Pavlakis, President, Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group, President Elect, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, and Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Coping with cancer?
Talk with a health professional or someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum.
Caring for someone with cancer
Learn how to cope and get support if you are caring for someone with cancer.
Need legal and financial assistance?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment.
The emotional impact of advanced cancer
First reactions and ongoing effects of an advanced cancer diagnosis.
Making treatment decisions for advanced cancer
Weighing up the benefits and side effects of treatment.
Caring for someone with advanced cancer
The emotional, physical and practical impacts for carers.