Some people may have advanced cancer when they are first diagnosed. For others, the cancer may have 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 are needed, or sometimes having ongoing treatment to control the cancer. During this time, many people carry on with their day-to-day lives and keep 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, doctors use treatment to control the symptoms of cancer.
Trying to manage diabetes effectively can be complicated if you have advanced cancer. This is because you may have a range of different symptoms that can make it difficult to control blood sugar levels. This includes symptoms such as loss of appetite, feeling sick, extreme tiredness (fatigue), and constipation or diarrhoea.
Some medicines used to help control symptoms, such as steroids and some painkillers, can affect blood sugar levels or the way that food is absorbed in the body. People with advanced cancer are often less active than normal, so their bodies use up less sugar. Advanced cancer can also change the way the body uses food, which can affect your blood sugar level.