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If you or a loved one is currently affected by advanced cancer, and you need more information, please call our Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.
Advanced cancer is a term used to describe primary, metastatic, or secondary cancers that are unlikely to be cured.
A primary cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide and multiply uncontrollably. These abnormal cells will usually continue to grow until they develop into a mass which can be called a tumour.
If the primary cancer is not treated, or cannot be treated, a few cancer cells can break away and move through the bloodstream or lymphatic system (the tissues and organs that make, store and carry the infection fighting white blood cells) to other parts of the body. There, they may multiply uncontrollably and form other masses of abnormal cells or tumours. This spread to other parts of the body is also known as secondary cancer.
Advanced cancer usually cannot be cured; however, it usually can be treated to slow the growth and spread of the cancer, sometimes for months or years, and reduce its symptoms. Treatment can keep some cancers under control for long periods and is especially helpful in controlling pain.
For more information about advanced cancer, call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.
The information available on this page should not be used as a substitute for advice from a properly qualified medical professional who can advise you about your own individual medical needs. It is not intended to constitute medical advice and is provided for general information purposes only. See our Disclaimer.