Advanced cancer

Advanced cancer is a term that usually describes cancer that has spread.

Treatment for advanced cancer is normally to keep the cancer under control rather than trying to cure it. You may also hear the terms metastatic or secondary cancer to describe a cancer that has spread. Read the section What is advanced cancer? for more information.

Finding out that you have advanced cancer can be devastating – whether you have just been diagnosed with cancer for the first time, learned that your cancer has spread, or found out that your cancer has returned.

However, thanks to recent advances in research and treatments, many people are living longer with advanced cancer and with a better quality of life. There are a range of treatment options for most advanced cancers, and new treatments are being developed all the time.

breast cancer symtoms

Find out about advanced cancer (also called secondary or metastatic cancer) and the areas of the body often affected by cancer that has spread. Learn more about when cancer comes back after treatment (recurrent cancer) and the difference between locally advanced and advanced cancer.

Read more

Learn more about treatments for advanced cancer and getting information on your life expectancy (prognosis).

Read more

Find information on support and care for advanced cancer, palliative care and night nursing.

Read more

Palliative care and support

Find information on nursing support and care for advanced cancer. Read more

Support for carers

Caring for someone with advanced cancer? You might like to visit our carers' page.