Despite major advances in the treatment of cancer during the past few decades, recovery from cancer is not always possible. If a cure or long-term remission (no signs of cancer) becomes unlikely or impossible, the disease may be called advanced, end-stage, or terminal cancer. However, incurable does not mean untreatable. People with advanced cancer continue to have treatment options and can maintain a good quality of life for months or even years.
This booklet (PDF) is designed to help people with advanced cancer, their families, and their caregivers understand the treatment options available throughout the course of the illness, discuss these options, and find support. Clarifying what you value and hope for during this time, and then openly communicating these wishes with the members of your health care team, will not only help your doctors identify the best plan for your care, but also can give you a sense of power in a situation that may seem out of your control.
The Oncologist's Perspective: Essays and podcasts from physicians about difficult conversations doctors and patients have.