From the official National Cancer Survivors Day website press release:
This unique celebration will mark the 28th annual National Cancer Survivors Day®. Thousands of people in hundreds of communities across the globe will hold celebrations on this day to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding, and even inspiring.
Anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life – is a cancer survivor, according to the National Cancer Survivors Day® Foundation. In the United States alone, there are more than 14 million people living with a history of cancer. Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment have resulted in longer survival, and therefore, a growing number of cancer survivors. However, a cancer diagnosis can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, financial, and emotional hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Survivors may face many challenges, such as limited access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments, inadequate or no health insurance, financial hardships, difficulty finding employment, psychosocial struggles, and a lack of understanding from family and friends.
In light of these difficulties, our community needs to focus on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors. “Despite the numerous challenges they face, cancer survivors live full, productive lives and serve as an inspiration to all of us,” says the press release. “It’s time for our community to stand with them and help find ways to lessen the burdens a cancer diagnosis brings.”
For more information and current statistics for the disease, the foundation also publishes annual reports that “provide the estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in 2015, as well as current cancer incidence, mortality, and survival statistics and information on cancer symptoms, risk factors, early detection, and treatment. In 2015, there will be an estimated 1,658,370 new cancer cases diagnosed and 589,430 cancer deaths in the US.” You can access these reports here.
If you are a cancer survivor, you already celebrate life every day just by living yours. This special day is to make sure everyone else to notices the strength and courage you show on a daily basis. If you know someone living with cancer, take a moment today to let them know you care for them – your kind words will give them extra strength and motivation to fight this terrible disease. Maybe you could even take them golfing, or fly fishing, or do whatever other activity they might love. That’s what I would do, if I had the chance.