Useful resources > Care for a palliative diagnosis

Care for a palliative diagnosis

When you are diagnosed as ‘palliative’, it means that the cancer cannot be cured, but with the right treatments and support, your symptoms and side effects can be kept under control to help you continue living your life as normally as possible. This can be a really unsettling time for everyone, and at times you may feel confused about what it all means.

How can Big C help?

Big C is here to support you and your family through this difficult time. The team is available to listen as well as give advice on a wide variety of topics including physical concerns, spiritual care, and practical worries, such as finances.

Practical worries, such as finances, wills, legal information and ensuring everything is in place you need, by having some of those difficult conversations. We offer specialist advise services to address all of these and any other concerns, you or your loved ones may have.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is care given to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. It’s an approach that addresses the person as a whole, not just the disease.

Organisations across Norfolk and Waveney are working closely to develop palliative care services, by investing in education and training of staff in palliative and end of life care. This will result in improved palliative and end of life care for patients and their families.

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What does palliative care mean for you?

Your doctor or specialist team would have advised you that your condition has moved to a palliative phase, where it is no longer curable. There may be treatment options available to ensure you are comfortable and are able to carry on with the things you enjoy doing. 

Palliative care encompasses physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of your needs.

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Does it mean I’m going to die?

There is a difference between palliative and end of life (terminal care). Palliative means your condition is no longer curable, but you are not at the end of your life. Those approaching the end of their lives, usually have a 6 month to 1-year prognosis.

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Find the right support group for you

There are various Big C support groups that can help you, specifically around dealing with palliative care diagnosis, including groups for men, women and carers as well as a specific palliative care support group.

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Further support

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Complementary therapies

We can offer complementary therapy treatments such as reflexology to help relax you. From reflexology to massage and relaxation to reiki. 

Somebody talking to a therapist.

We provide specialist counsellors and advisors to support you and your family with the emotional aspect; this can be dealing with emotions, such as depression, fear and anxiety. 

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Frequently asked questions

Take a look at some of the most common questions we’re asked, and if you can’t find the answer to what you’re looking for, just get in touch.

Palliative care is not about the last few days, or hours of your life. It’s about ensuring your life is as good as it can be right until the end.

We’ve helped people like Louise

Following a routine mammogram screening, Louise was told that a lump was found in her breast, resulting in a breast cancer diagnosis in August 2019. This is her story…

Photo of Louise Prentice sitting in a chair receiving treatment


We can help you work through the maze of cancer information.


At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

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