Cancer and Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is a process to help you think about, talk about and document your wishes and healthcare decisions for the future. If there is a time when you’re unable to speak for yourself, it’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes and decisions.

CancerCare Manitoba has prepared a guide for making healthcare decisions that provides you with helpful steps.
We have also produced an advance care planning bookmark/wallet card that you can print out and keep with you.

You may never need an advance care plan, but if you do, your loved ones will appreciate knowing what you would want to be done next.

Diagnosis and Treatment Plans

You might have a number of questions during the course of your cancer treatment. It's important to discuss them with your cancer care team so that you can make informed decisions about your advance care plan:

  • What impact will cancer have on your life?
    • What is the likely course?
  • What are your options if your health quickly gets worse?
    • How will the treatment plan start? Is the treatment meant to cure cancer or just make you more comfortable or both?
    • What side effects or complications could be caused by your treatment?
  • What is the best you can hope for with this treatment?
    • How will you know if cancer has progressed? Will there be any signs or symptoms?
    • Does having advanced cancer change the effectiveness of any other treatments you might have?
  • What options are available to you if you don't want to start or continue treatment?
    • When would someone consider palliative care?
    • What about life-prolonging or life-sustaining treatments? How do you decide whether or not to have these treatments?

Make sure that you ask these questions throughout your cancer treatment, not just at the beginning.
It is important to tell your cancer care team how much information you would like and what is important to you.

If you have questions about this initiative or about a specific part of the care plan, please contact us at

Advance Care Planning Guide

Advance Care Planning Bookmark/Wallet Card

Living Well, Planning Well

An Advance Care Planning Resource for Accessing Your Rights

Related Information - learn about additional tools to help you build your advance care plan - additional tools that can help you plan ahead - information and support on palliative and end of life care