National Cancer Survivors Day
With more than 15.5 million people living with and beyond cancer in the U.S. today – and more than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide – everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer. Yesterday, on Sunday, June 2, 2019, communities around the world united to recognize these cancer survivors, and to raise awareness of the challenges of cancer survivorship, as part of the 32nd annual National Cancer Survivors Day® Celebration of Life.
National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life that is held on the first Sunday in June. Hundreds of cities across the U.S. and abroad held celebrations on this day to acknowledge the cancer survivors in their community, to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face because of their disease, and – most importantly – to celebrate life.
According to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, administrator for the celebration, "A 'survivor' is anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life."
"When people hear the word ‘cancer,’ it can be very frightening," says Foundation spokesperson, Laura Shipp. “But there is hope. Cancer mortality rates are steadily declining, and cancer survivors are living longer than ever before. National Cancer Survivors Day® is an opportunity for these cancer survivors – and those who support them – to come together and celebrate the tremendous progress being made in the fight against cancer. It’s a day to celebrate life, because life after cancer is worth celebrating.
"NCSD is also a call to action. As many survivors will tell you, the effects of cancer don’t end when treatment does. Cancer survivors face ongoing, often long-lasting, hardships because of their disease. On National Cancer Survivors Day®, we want to raise awareness of the many challenges of cancer survivorship and advocate for further research, more resources, and increased public awareness to improve the lives of cancer survivors."
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation encouraged everyone – cancer survivors, caregivers, healthcare professionals, family members, and friends – to join their community’s NCSD celebration. NCSD celebrations were as diverse as the cities where the events were held. From parades and carnivals to health fairs and cancer awareness runs, each community celebrated in its own unique way. Collectively, National Cancer Survivors Day® celebrations give cancer survivors an opportunity to share their stories, connect with other survivors, celebrate personal milestones, and recognize those who have supported them. NCSD also gives communities a chance to stand alongside these survivors and raise awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer presents.
The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation offers free guidance, education, networking resources, and assistance to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host official National Cancer Survivors Day® events in their communities. The Foundation’s primary mission is to bring awareness to the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors.
As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, it is becoming ever more important to address the unique needs of this population. In addition to facing a serious illness, cancer survivors must contend with rapidly rising drug costs, inadequate insurance coverage, difficulty finding or keeping employment, and ongoing physical, psychological, and financial struggles that persist even after treatment ends.
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation encouraged citizens across the globe to stand with these survivors on National Cancer Survivors Day® and make a commitment to addressing the challenges of cancer survival. "The strides researchers are making in cancer treatment right now are amazing to witness," says Shipp. "But, now more than ever, it is vital that we work to ensure cancer survivors are not forgotten once treatment ends. We need to do a better job of addressing the hardships cancer survivors face beyond treatment."
The NCSD Foundation urges everyone to spread the message that life after cancer is something worth celebrating. And a better quality of life for cancer survivors is worth fighting for.
Source: National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, Inc.