If your cancer won't go away
For some people with cancer, there may come a time when their cancer becomes advanced. Some people may be given an initial diagnosis of advanced cancer, meaning the cancer is incurable. This can be very difficult to come to terms with. However, it doesn’t mean there won’t be treatment to help control the cancer or its symptoms.
The aim of treatment for incurable cancer is to provide care and support so people can live as fully and comfortably as possible. Your medical team call this type of care ‘palliative’ or ‘best supportive care’. While palliative care itself is not aimed at curing your cancer, it can be offered together with active treatment to help reduce your symptoms, give you a better quality of life, and provide you and your family or carers with emotional, spiritual and practical support.
If you would like to read more on palliative or best supportive care, please visit out webpage below which may answer some of your questions
Finding out your cancer can no longer be cured is likely to bring up many confronting emotions for you and those close to you. Confusion, sadness and intense grief are common feelings. Depending on your age and situation, you may be grieving the loss of what you expected and wanted life to be, or grieving about leaving loved ones behind; not wanting them to feel sad or suffer because you are gone.
You and those close to you may have many questions at this time about:
palliative care services and how to access them
which health professionals are involved in palliative care
symptoms, treatment during palliative care and end-of-life care
medications to help with pain and other symptoms
getting your affairs in order
lifestyle and quality of life when cancer can’t be cured
and much more.
More information and resources:
Ovarian Cancer Australia have a team of counsellors and psychologists who are able to provide counselling support to people impacted by ovarian cancer. For more information, visit our page outlining our psychosocial services.
Refer to Palliative Care Australia’s ‘Asking questions’ page to help you think about what questions to ask your healthcare team to ensure you and those close to you get the best possible care at this stage in your illness.