It’s common to feel overwhelmed by different feelings when your doctor tells you your cancer is advanced. Some people’s cancer may be advanced when they are first diagnosed. For others, the cancer may spread or come back after treatment.
Although it is rare for advanced cancer to be cured, people may live with it for a long time – sometimes for years. This may mean having different treatments when they’re needed, or sometimes having ongoing treatment to control the cancer. During this time, many people carry on with their day-to-day lives and doing things that are important to them. Sometimes it may not be possible to control the cancer any longer or a person may not be well enough to have treatment. In this case, their cancer doctor or specialist nurse will always make sure they are given treatments to control any symptoms they have.
When you first find out your cancer is advanced, you may feel shocked and find it hard to take in. You may feel frightened about the future, or angry with other people or yourself. With time, these feelings can become more manageable as you start making decisions and plans.
You might find it helpful to talk to others who understand if you’re dealing with difficult news. You can visit our Online Community to talk to people in similar situations.
Knowing that your illness may not be curable can give you an opportunity to decide what’s important to you, and how you want to live your life. Concentrating on what you can enjoy and achieve can give you pleasure. It may also help you cope if you find you can’t meet other goals.