Today, there are 14 million cancer survivors in the United States.1 As stated by the CDC, a cancer survivor is anyone “who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis throughout his or her life.”2 After diagnosis and treatment, survivors may face new challenges related to all aspects of life. As such, awareness, education and support are important for cancer survivors.
National Cancer Survivors Day is observed annually, on the first Sunday in June. In the words of the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, this global celebration is “a day to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.”3
Whether you’re a cancer survivor, a friend or family member, these resources can help you find the information, support and services you need.
1. American Cancer Society – cancer.org
ACS supports those with cancer as well as those living beyond it—not to mention their family members and friends. On its website, the ACS offers a Survivorship: During and After Treatment section that boasts articles related to nutrition, staying active, care plans, recurrence and more. It also includes inspirational stories and access to online communities and support.
The National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center, a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the George Washington University Cancer Institute, includes additional tools for cancer survivors and caregivers, health care professionals, and the policy and advocacy community. Here, cancer survivors can access a Life After Treatment guide.
2. National Cancer Institute – cancer.gov
In addition to its comprehensive Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment PDF, the National Cancer Institute offers a Survivorship page that includes information on adjusting to physical and emotional changes after cancer treatments, follow-up medical care and family issues that may arise after treatment.
3. National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship – canceradvocacy.org
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s mission states, “While we hope for the cure … we must focus on the care.” The NCSS is an advocate “for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer.” It is also a tremendous resource for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors. The NCSS offers a free, downloadable audio program called the Cancer Survival Toolbox. This comprehensive program includes a section called Living Beyond Cancer, which addresses common concerns of cancer survivors and teaches them helpful skills for life after treatment.
4. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – cdc.gov
Those in search of survivorship information, research and stories will find it all at the CDC’s Cancer Survivorship page. Additionally, this resource includes information on help for the uninsured, access to national reports and a robust list of national cancer survivorship partners. A special section for caregivers for cancer patients and survivors addresses concerns unique to informal caregivers—spouses, friends, neighbors, etc.
5. CancerCare – cancercare.org
When cancer patients and survivors need professional support services, CancerCare is a great place to turn. Since 1944, the organization has provided free, professional support services and information in a multitude of forms—phone, online, in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and copayment assistance.4CancerCare.org’s For Patients and Survivors page helps connect visitors with the right resources by allowing them to filter their search according to diagnosis, patient or survivor status, and location.
1The American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Cancer Survivorship.” N.D. http://www.asco.org/practice-research/cancer-survivorship
2U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Basic Information About Cancer Survivorship.” Last reviewed May 28, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/survivorship/basic_info/
3National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. “About National Cancer Survivors Day.” N.D. http://www.ncsd.org/about-us
4CancerCare. “About Us.” http://www.cancercare.org