Hesperian Health Guides

When Cancer Cannot Be Cured

an older man and three young women sitting at the bedside of a sick older woman

Many cancers can be cured, but others cannot, especially if the cancer has spread to several parts of the body. Also, hospitals that treat cancer are often far away, in large cities, and treatment is costly.

Sometimes, when cancer is found late, there is no cure. Then it may be best to stay at home in the care of your family. This time can be very difficult. Eat as well as you can and get enough rest. Medicines for pain, anxiety, and sleeping problems can make you more comfortable. Talking with someone close to you can help you prepare for death, and help you plan for your family’s future after you are gone.

If you are caring for someone who must stay in bed, or who is near death, see the information on prevention of pressure sores, treatment of pressure sores, exercises to prevent contractures, treatment for pain, and caring for someone who is near death.

This page was updated:17 Apr 2019