This is an important awareness month for me because I was diagnosed with cancer at 28 years old. I was young, healthy, and had no idea what lay inside. I was very lucky and my cancer only required surgery, all the cancer was found so no chemo or radiation, for that I’m forever grateful. I’m now 58 years old and have had no relapse.
Cancer is something we all have to think about in that it comes to us from so many angles. Be sure to bring up any changes you are going thru with your doctor no matter how insignificant you think they are.
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, this person is considered a cancer survivor from that moment throughout the rest of his/her life.
Surviving cancer has physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial consequences that start with diagnosis and continue through treatment and beyond. It also includes issues related to follow-up treatment, side effects of treatment, the risk of getting cancer again, and your quality of life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are a critical part of the journey of the cancer survivor.
It is estimated that there will be about 1.9 million new cancer cases diagnosed in 2022. This number will not include basal and squamous cell skin cancers. Cancer Survivorship As difficult as treatment is, thousands of cancer survivors have said that the experience led them to make important changes in their lives.
Cancer Survivorship Issues
Thanks to advances in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and follow-up care, more people than ever before are surviving the disease. In America alone, more than 16.9 million people are alive today after being diagnosed with cancer.
However, surviving cancer can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.
Cancer survivors may face numerous challenges during and after treatment:
- Limited access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments
- Denial of health insurance and life insurance coverage
- Difficulty finding jobs
- Economic burdens due to mounting medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced productivity
Add to that emotional struggles, strains on personal relationships, and the profound fear of cancer recurrence. The effects of cancer don’t simply end when treatment does.
Stay in tune with your body, if something doesn’t feel right see your doctor right away. My cancer was discovered during a routine exam. If we catch cancer early enough we have a greater chance of beating it and not having to go thru extensive therapy.
Get checked. Keep your annual appointments.