Cellular senescence is an extremely stable form of cell cycle arrest activated in response to stress. Autophagy, a lysosome-dependent cellular catabolic process, can also be triggered by cellular stresses. Both senescence and autophagy have been implicated in a similar range of pathophysiologies, including cancer, aging and age-related symptoms. Senescence is a heterogeneous phenotype that is composed of multiple effector mechanisms and autophagy was recently identified as a new effector of senescence. Autophagy seemingly has different impacts on cells responding to stress through a diversity of effects: recycling of metabolic waste, cell survival and protein expression regulation.