If cancer comes back it does not necessarily mean that it cannot be treated successfully. Your doctor may recommend another course of treatment. Even if the cancer itself cannot be treated there may be treatment available to help control the symptoms caused by the cancer. You can find out more in the palliative care section of this website.
For some people, cancer doesn't go away, and it becomes a chronic (ongoing) illness - like diabetes or heart disease. This could be the case for some leukaemias, lymphomas and ovarian cancer, for example. The disease is controlled and managed, and may become a cycle of recurrence and remission. For other people, the cancer may metastasize (spread) to other areas of the body, but be well controlled for a number of years.
The links below will help you to find out more about living with recurrent and advanced cancer. You will find more detailed information about different types of cancer in our cancer types section
If you have been affected by cancer in some way and would like to talk to someone about what you have read or need help finding information - you are welcome to drop into any Maggie’s Centre or to visit Maggie’s Online Centre and talk with a cancer support specialist.