Every day is a celebration
Even though June 5, 2022, marked the 35th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, every day as a survivor is a celebration.
June is an opportunity to celebrate all cancer survivors, whether someone is still undergoing treatment or has long since won their battle against cancer.
The American Cancer Society uses the term cancer survivor to refer to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer no matter where they are in the course of their disease.
Nationally recognized as Cancer Survivor Month, June is an opportunity for all 16.9 million cancer survivors across the country to celebrate their milestones and recognize those who have supported them along the way.
It is also an opportunity for those who have not been affected by cancer to learn and understand the challenges that accompany survivorship.
Thanks to advances in cancer screenings and early detection, treatment, and follow-up care, more people than ever before are surviving cancer.
Surviving cancer is a unique experience for each person. No two people will have the same path from diagnosis to remission; everyone has different treatments, joys, sorrows, thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Each experience deserves to be recognized and every day is worth celebrating.
Many people who have not battled cancer are under the misconception that once treatment ends, the difficulties related to cancer come to a screeching stop.
The truth is, moving forward as a survivor is accompanied by many new struggles. As cancer survivors navigate new challenges, many of the support systems they had throughout treatment may fade making adjusting to their new normal exceptionally challenging and isolating.
Along with survivorship often comes physical, emotional, and financial hardship. Though often only the tip of the iceberg, treatment leaves the human body fatigued and weak.
It often takes a long time for the body to adjust and adapt to the new normal. Even while understanding this in theory, it can be especially demotivating to survivors. Most feel the urge to jump back into an old routine and pick up where one left off; however, when the body isn’t ready or capable to do so, it can be especially demoralizing. Aside from the frustration of setting new limits on oneself it can result in new mental health issues.
Survivorship in and of itself is a milestone to celebrate, but it is not the end of the challenging path. Also, many survivors are put on new medications that have their own side effects.
Increasing Cancer Survivorship The CDC reminds everyone to schedule regular screening appointments as recommended. It is important that everyone, regardless of whether or not they have had cancer in the past, stay up to date on screenings and information increasing one’s chance of survival.
Today, many types of cancers are considered extremely treatable if caught early. Cancer survivors are resilient
Despite the challenges of short-term and long-term effects of treatments, cancer survivors are resilient. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) celebrates survivors and encourages individuals touched by cancer to learn more about the science of survivorship and discover how research can save lives.