Making treatment decisions

In the advanced stages of cancer, there are many (often difficult) decisions that need to be made about treatment.

Things like:

  • what sort of treatment will be given (if any)
  • where you will have treatment
  • when to stop treatment
  • whether antibiotics should be taken if there’s an infection, or whether there should be resuscitation if breathing stops.

These are all things that need to be discussed with your YCS team and your family and loved ones. It’s not easy, but it’s important to talk about them and make sure your treatment team and family/partner know what you want. This can prevent more stress for them when decisions need to be made.

Who makes the decision?

  • If you are over the age of 16, you have the right to make independent decisions about your medical treatment.
  • If you are younger, you might still be able to make those decisions, if your medical team believes you understand the consequences of those decisions.
  • If you have an opinion about something or don’t agree with a decision, let your family and medical team know. Talking through strategies with someone who is independent – like a friend, social worker or counsellor – may help a lot in this situation.