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According to the National Cancer Institute, there are nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States. By 2020, there are expected to be 18 million cancer survivors.

Some survivors may live with cancer as a chronic disease requiring periodic treatments, while others may go into long-term remission. Many will lead normal lives with few side effects, if any. In fact, two-thirds of survivors report that cancer has not had a significant long-term impact on their lives.
There are three certain stages cancer fighters experience. In 2010, the Lance Armstrong Foundation worked alongside the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to create A National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship: Advancing Public Health Strategies Adobe PDF file [PDF-1MB]. Here are the three stages that cancer survivors’ experience:

Living with cancer refers to the experience of receiving a cancer diagnosis and any treatment that may follow. During this time, patients will undergo treatment and may be asked to join a clinical trial to study new cancer therapies. Patients and their caregivers may be offered services to help cope with emotional, psychological and financial concerns.

Living through cancer is the period following treatment in which the risk of cancer recurring is relatively high. Many patients are relieved that treatment is over, but anxious about no longer seeing their cancer doctor on a regular basis. During this stage, patients typically see their cancer doctor two to four times a year depending on their circumstances.

Living beyond cancer refers to post-treatment and long-term survivorship. While two out of three survivors say their lives return to normal, one-third report continuing physical, psychosocial or financial consequences. During this stage, most survivors go back to the care of their primary physician. Ideally, they will have developed a long-term health care plan with their cancer doctor to be implemented by their regular doctor.

– from the National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship: Advancing Public Health Strategies

Resources of Information
"Now What?" Life After Cancer Treatment (Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes)
Cancer Survivorship (MD Anderson Cancer Center)
Survivorship Guide (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship: The Cancer Survival Toolbox
MacMillian Cancer Support (Great Britain): Adjusting to Life After Cancer
 
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Pearl Point Cancer Support Services
pearlpoint.org
877-467-1936
My PearlPoint (mypearlpoint.org) is your resource for easy-to understand, reliable information to help create a ...more

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