Cancer returning

Just a quick question. My wife has had head/neck cancer removed last year. This month we found out that she has cancer in two more places. They said if its a new cancer it would be treatable. But if its a "spread" (which is what they've found out) its not!. Does this mean we will get a "death sentance"? I am terrified for her and don't know how the hell i would tell our children/ family.

Kind regards


  • Dear Joseph (Millie-roase),

    Thank you for getting in touch with us and welcome to our online community.

    I’m so sorry to hear that your wife’s cancer has potentially spread. This uncertainty must be devastating for you both, and I can’t imagine what you’re going through at the moment.

    Sadly, when a cancer spreads to another organ in the body, it means that the cancer has advanced and is no longer curable. However, there may be treatments available to her to help control and manage the cancer for as long as possible.

    When you are given a diagnosis like this, it can be quite hard to know how to tell your family and friends about what’s going on. Talking to your children and letting them know what’s going on can be difficult, especially if they are different ages. There’s no right or wrong way to have the conversation, and you will both know the best way to tell them.

    There are some charities that may be able to help and support you telling your children, and in the time afterwards. Riprap and Hope Support Services supports children from 11-25. For younger children, helping them feel included can help. Fruitfly have developed some resources that can help you. Maggie’s is also a wonderful charity who can offer help and support for you as a family. Of course, our Macmillan centres across the country can also help to support you and your family.

    At a time like this, the last thing you want to be worrying about is money. You might find it helpful to give someone from our welfare rights team a call. They can help with accessing benefits, managing debts and can even help you apply for a Macmillan grant.

    You might also find it helpful to talk with one of our emotional support team or nurses on the support line. Sometimes just talking things through can help, but please don’t feel like you’re going through this alone.

    I hope this has been helpful, but please don’t hesitate to get back in touch whenever you need to.

    Best wishes


    Alison P

    Cancer Information Nurse