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If your cancer won't go away

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.

  • Advanced Care Planning Australia

  • 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. 

Resilience Kit

The Resilience Kit provides up-to-date information on all aspects of living with ovarian cancer including information on diagnosis, treatment and beyond. This resource is for women living with ovarian cancer, their family and friends.

Acknowledgement flags

Ovarian Cancer Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where our office is located, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and we pay our respects to Elders past and present.