Making decisions about end of life care: secondary breast cancer and you

Having secondary breast cancer will probably mean you have questions and concerns about the end of life.

It can be very difficult to look ahead to this time but it may be helpful to think about how and where you want to be cared for and make any necessary plans.

The following information may help you to start thinking about these decisions and what you would like.

Some people want to be involved in making decisions about how they will be cared for and include family and friends in these discussions. You may need to consider making decisions about who will care for your family and any necessary financial arrangements.

You can talk these decisions through with your family, friends and those caring for you, to ensure you feel confident that you’ll be cared for and all arrangements will be made in the way that you wish.

The questions below may help you to start thinking about what you would like. Remember you can change your mind about any of your decisions at any time.

Questions to think about

  • What information do you need about your illness and what may happen to you?
  • Where would you prefer to be cared for toward the end of your life (for example, at home, in a hospice, hospital or care home)?
  • Do you want to write an advance decision (advance directive) to refuse treatment or resuscitation?
  • Do you wish to arrange a lasting power of attorney?
  • Have you made or updated your will?
  • Are there any spiritual or religious practices that you wish to be carried out before or at the time of your death, or after you have died?
  • Who do you need to ask to make sure this happens?
  • What funeral arrangements would you like to be made? Who do you want to make the arrangements?
  • Do you wish to plan anything yourself or with your loved ones?
  • Do you want to be cremated or buried?
  • Do those looking after your affairs know where to find all the necessary documents?
  • Is there anything that you want done for the people that you love?
  • Do you wish to leave letters, messages, memory boxes or recordings for loved ones?
Last reviewed: December 2015
Next planned review begins December 2017

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Please note that we cannot respond to comments. If you have any questions about breast cancer please contact the Helpline on 0808 800 6000.