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Often, advanced cancer cannot be cured by current treatments. However, treatment can often slow the growth and spread of the cancer and reduce its symptoms. Treatment can keep some cancers under control for long periods, often for months and sometimes for years.


Our Living with advanced cancer booklet offers general information about advanced cancer, explaining what might happen and what help is available to you, family and friends. You can call our 13 11 20  Cancer Information and Support Line for a copy or for more information.

Caring for someone with cancer is a booklet for people who are looking after someone with cancer and offers practical tips and support on navigating the experience of cancer.

It can be difficult to hear that your cancer has advanced.

These are some tips on how to cope with emotions, either as someone diagnosed with cancer and facing an uncertain future, or as someone caring for a person diagnosed with advanced cancer:

  • Speak with a qualified counsellor who has experience in cancer, and can be helpful in assisting you and your family members to find strategies to cope with an advanced cancer diagnosis.
  • You can also speak to one of our cancer nurses on our 13 11 20 Cancer Information and Support Line.
  • Speaking to someone else who is living with advanced cancer can be beneficial. Cancer Council NSW provide a telephone support group for those affected by advanced cancer. This group is facilitated by a trained counsellor who offers support and information to adults affected by cancer, including patients, their families and carers.

Support groups are designed to provide you with the opportunity to explore living with an uncertain future with others who have advanced cancer. See our Support Groups page or contact 13 11 20.

Palliative care is an approach that improves quality of life for patients and their families facing problems often associated with living with a terminal illness.

The booklet “Understanding Palliative Care” can help you to understand more about palliative care.

The Palliative Care Information and Support line (1800 573 299) provides the WA community with information and support on advance care planning, palliative care, grief and loss.

For answers to frequently asked questions about palliative care please go to our Palliative care page.