A person soldiering on with advanced cancer may tell you they depend on good doctors, latest treatments and a positive frame of mind. But it is more likely they will dwell on the support they have received from family, friends, their community, their church, their beliefs - or the lot.

A life-changing illness can add new weight to social, cultural and spiritual connections. Strong networks, effective communication and spiritual fulfilment can all help to make life that little bit easier.

These pages look at some of the social needs of people with advanced cancer and, where possible, offers some suggestions for coping with them.

Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015