You may want to find out as much as possible about your treatment options before making any decisions. Your doctors and nurses will talk to you about what treatments may be suitable for you. These will depend on the type of cancer you have and where it is in your body. Your doctors will consider what is important to you and how treatment may affect you. This will help you both decide on the best course of treatment.
Treatment for advanced cancer usually aims to control the cancer and help you live longer. It may also aim to help improve your symptoms and quality of life. Treatment can shrink the size of the tumour or stop it from growing for a while.
You may also need other medicines to help manage symptoms.
You may be offered:
You may need to have a few treatments before you and your doctor can decide whether to continue with a full course. For example, if you are having chemotherapy to control or shrink the cancer, you may have a scan after several weeks. This is to assess the effect the treatment is having. If the scan results show that the treatment is working, you are likely to benefit from continuing with the treatment.
However, the treatment may no longer have an effect on the cancer after some time. You may start getting the side effects of the treatment without any of the benefits. In this case, you may want to think about whether to continue with treatment. Making treatment decisions in these circumstances is always difficult. It may help to talk with your cancer doctor, specialist nurse, family and friends before deciding what to do.
If you decide not to have treatment, you will be offered supportive (palliative) care to help control symptoms. This may include: