What is cancer
Cancer is a condition where cells in the body grow and reproduce abnormally. These cells can invade or spread to other parts of the body, destroying the healthy cells it invades.
Treatment of cancer
Almost all patients who get cancer will have treatment that is designed to make the cancer go into 'remission' (this means there is a reduction or absence of active cancer). Each patient's experience of cancer will be different.
In a number of patients, the cancer will come back, or might never go into remission. If this happens, you and your clinical team might decide that treatment is aimed palliative care. This is designed to treat and minimise your symptoms.
Creating an Advance Decision for cancer
You should always consult or inform your GP about an Advance Decision. You should also tell members of your family and people who help look after you about your Advance Decision and what you have written in it.
Informing family and / or close friends as well as you GP will ensure that the treatments you wish to refuse are known. This is the only way of making sure that your Advance Decision can be followed should you lose the ability to make decisions.
It is therefore a good idea to give your family and / or close friends signed and witnessed copies of your Advance Decision, and your Advance Statement if you have made one. You should also make sure that your Living Will (Advance Decision and / or Advance Statement) is recorded in your medical notes.