June is National Cancer Survivor Month. Completing cancer treatment is an emotional time that can also leave you wondering: What happens next? Where do I go from here?
The answer is different for each person as we are all unique and individual. Some people return to life as normal before the diagnosis of cancer, while others may face changes from their experience. The challenge for every survivor is figuring out how to return to everyday life while adjusting to the effects of the disease and treatment received.
Your healthcare team at Southern Cancer Center is dedicated to assisting during this time of transition by helping to recognize these challenges and providing resources and support. The information provided in this booklet was designed with you in mind, to help survivors and their families and friends prepare for life after cancer treatment.
Survivorship can mean different things to each individual, but it generally describes the process of living with, through, and beyond cancer. According to this definition, cancer survivorship begins at diagnosis and includes people who continue to receive treatment to either reduce the risk of cancer coming back or to manage chronic disease. Others may view survivorship as having no disease after treatment. No matter how it is defined, survivorship is unique for every person. Everyone has to find their own means of coping and support to navigate the changes and challenges that occur as a result of living with cancer.
The effectiveness of cancer treatment continues to improve due to ongoing advances in medical research. As a result, the number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to close to 15 million today. As more people are surviving cancer, how long a person lives is no longer the only focus. Importance is placed, rather, on how well survivors are able to live after treatment.
Learn more about Southern Cancer Center’s Survivorship program here: SouthernCancerCenter.com/Survivorship