This booklet has been prepared to help you understand more about cancer of unknown primary. Health professionals use several terms to describe this cancer, including occult primary cancer, tumour of
unknown origin or metastatic malignancy of unknown primary.
View all resources
Call or email our experienced cancer nurses for information and support.
Contact a cancer nurse
What is cancer?
Where cancer starts, how it spreads, common risk factors and symptoms.
Types of cancer
Explore our A-Z list of cancer types, with information on diagnosis and treatment.
Learn about cancer treatments and find your local treatment centre.
Rare and less common cancers
A cancer is rare or less common when it only affects a small number of people.
Advanced cancer usually can’t be cured, but it can often be controlled.
Genetics and risk
For some families, an inherited faulty gene means their risk of cancer is much higher.
Children, teens and young adults
No matter what age a child is, a cancer diagnosis will have a big effect on them.
Cancer information and support services for Victorian Aboriginal communities.
Cancer and COVID-19
Learn about cancer and COVID-19, and updates about our support services.
Managing daily life
Common side effects
Identify and manage common side effects of cancer and its treatment, such as pain.
It is normal to experience a range of emotions when you have cancer.
Grief is the process of responding to loss and it can affect all parts of your life.
Eating well is beneficial during and after cancer treatment.
Aerobic, strength, flexibility and pelvic floor exercises for people with cancer.
Cancer and pregnancy
Being diagnosed with cancer while you are pregnant is rare, but it can happen.
Sexuality and intimacy
Cancer may affect the role sexuality and intimacy play in your life.
Learning to relax
Coping with cancer is challenging and it is important to look after yourself.
Managing special occasions
Tips to help you make the most of special occasions and manage holidays.
Living well after cancer
You may continue to face challenges even after cancer treatment has ended.
Contact our cancer nurses
Speak to our trusted and compassionate cancer nurses on 13 11 20 or via email.
Facing end of life
Information on dealing with, planning for and looking after somone at the end of life.
Caring for someone with cancer
Caring can be rewarding but also challenging, both physically and emotionally.
We offer a free, personalised wig loan service.
Connect and learn
Connect with others and participate in our free education programs.
Financial and legal
Information and support programs related to legal and financial matters.
Information for employees and employers.
Cancer counselling services
Free, short term phone counselling services to help you work through any cancer related concerns.
Holiday break program
Free short breaks for those affected by cancer and their families.
Cancer services guide
A guide to support services available to Victorians affected by cancer.
Cancer information and support services for LGBTIQ+ communities.
Early detection offers one of the best chances of cure.
Cut down on alcohol to reduce your risk of cancer.
Be a healthy weight
Convincing evidence links obesity to various cancers.
Eat a healthy diet
We recommend a healthy body weight, regular exercise and a healthy diet.
It's preventable but nearly 2,000 Australians die of skin cancer each year.
Each year 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with smoking-related cancer.
Be physically active
Evidence links physical activity to reduced breast and colon cancer risk.
We're working to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Scientific work funded in universities, hospitals and research institutes.
Find out how we help patients access clinical trials.
Search our research
Search the vast number of projects we've been involved in over the years.
Meet our researchers
Team of researchers who have expanded our understanding of cancer.
Our Forgotten Cancers Program
Improving survival for less common and low survival cancers.
Research ethics and guidelines
Learn about our research ethics and research practice guidelines
Principles for the responsible and ethical conduct of research.
McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer
Find out how we use the law to prevent cancer and to protect people affected by it.
Victorian Cancer Registry
We register details of all cancer diagnoses to keep statistics.
Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer
Learn more about the centre and its work.
Cancer Epidemiology Division
Support our work including research, cancer support and prevention.
Leave a gift in your Will
Find a fundraising event to suit you.
Volunteer with us
Join the fight against cancer and volunteer with us.
Share your story to help others, give back and be heard.
Give a major gift
Learn more about philanthropy at Cancer Council Victoria.
Become a corporate supporter
Honour your loved one
Create a lasting space to remember your loved one or give in memory.
Give in celebration
Make a lasting contribution when you celebrate your next special occasion.
Donate a holiday
Cancer Council’s online store offers ultimate sun protection solutions.
Learn about cancer and COVID-19, and support services for your patients.
Read our latest news for health professionals.
Cancer support referral
Order free publications
Order a limited number of our free booklets and brochures.
Education and training
Education programs for people who work in a healthcare setting.
Cervical screening providers
Information for Nurse Cervical Screening providers.
Optimal Care Pathways
The Optimal Care Pathways (formerly Patient Management Frameworks) provide a consistent statewide approach to care management in each tumour stream.
A project to improve access to supportive care for people affected by cancer.
Network of specialist health care professionals.
Resources and support for general practice.
Clinical practice guides
Medical guides for specific cancers.
Financial and legal referrals
Referral information for legal and financial assistance programs.
Resources for dietitians
To support nutritional management of oncology patients.
Resources and support for Community Health Professionals.
Free, short-term phone counselling service to help your patients.
Addresses, phone numbers, parking and public transport information.
What we do
Our strategic plan, outlining our mission, values, goals and priorities.
Latest news and stories
News from Cancer Council Victoria and stories of those affected by cancer.
Where the money goes
See what we spent our money on in 2020.
Work with us
Interested in a career with Cancer Council Victoria? Find out more.
Latest media releases and contacts for media liaison.
Policy and Advocacy
Influencing law and policy to improve cancer outcomes for all Victorians.
Find out about our governance and our board.
Publications and videos
Annual review, newsletters, booklets, information sheets and videos.
View our annual reviews which demonstrate our achievements each year.
Snapshots of people and events from our long history.
Dr Nigel Gray
Nigel John Gray, AO, is a pioneer of tobacco control both nationally, and internationally.
Culturally diverse communities
We work to reduce the impact of cancer in diverse communities.
Melbourne retail store
Our Melbourne-based retail shop is now permanently closed. To purchase our products, visit www.cancercouncilshop.org.au.