Celebrating Our Cancer Survivors
June is National Cancer Survivorship Month. National Cancer Survivors Day is observed each year on the first Sunday in June. The staff at the CHI Health Regional Cancer Center at St. Francis would like to take this opportunity to recognize the importance of this cancer awareness time.
What is a Cancer Survivor?
The term “cancer survivor” refers to any person who has been diagnosed with cancer. Therefore, survivorship begins at the time of diagnosis and includes the periods of initial treatment with intent to cure, cancer-free survival, chronic or intermittent disease, and end of life care (1).
There are now over 17 million cancer survivors in the United States (2) and 32 million survivors worldwide (3). The number continues to grow due to advance in cancer screening and cancer care.
This is a time for everyone, whether you are a cancer survivor, family member, friend, or medical professional, to connect with each other, recognize challenges of cancer, support each other, and celebrate milestones. Anyone can make a difference in cancer community. You may bring awareness on challenges that cancer survivors face during and after treatment, cancer survivors who are no longer in active treatment with health care needs, cancer research development, or public policy for cancer survivors.
Health Care Needs for Cancer Survivors
We want to draw attention to health care need for cancer survivors who completing their cancer treatment in this article. The services for this group of cancer survivors include:
- surveillance for recurrence
- screening for the development of secondary cancers
- monitoring and intervention for the long-term physical and psychological effects of cancer and its treatment
- management of comorbid medical conditions
- routine preventive and primary care (4).
Let’s pay tribute to the cancer survivors in your community, and bring attention to the ongoing challenges. We hope that you will join us in celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day and Month this June.
1.Hewitt M, Greenfield S, Stovall E, et al. From cancer patient to cancer survivor: Lost in transition. National Academies Press, Washington DC, 2006. http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2005/From-Cancer-Patient-to-Cancer-Survivor-Lost-in-Transition.aspx (Accessed on January 31, 2011).
2.American Cancer Society. Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2019-2021. American Cancer Society, Atlanta, 2019. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-treatment-and-survivorship-facts-and-figures/cancer-treatment-and-survivorship-facts-and-figures-2019-2021.pdf (Accessed on January 20, 2020).
3.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Global Cancer Statistics. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/international/statistics.htm (Accessed on April 13, 2017).
4.Nekhlyudov L, Mollica MA, Jacobsen PB, et al. Developing a Quality of Cancer Survivorship Care Framework: Implications for Clinical Care, Research, and Policy. J Natl Cancer Inst 2019; 111:1120.
Pornchai Jonglertham, MD is an Oncology/Hematology provider at CHI Health Regional Cancer Center at St. Francis.