As summer approaches, we are reminded that the first Sunday in June is the official National Cancer Survivor Day. This year the 29th annual day is scheduled for Sunday June 5th. According to the website National Cancer Survivors Day, www.ncsd.org, a “‘survivor’ is anyone living with a history of cancer- from moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.” The number of people who have had cancer has risen from 3 million in 1971 to 14.5 million today according to the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Society. In the United States 86% of all cancers are diagnosed in people 50 years of age or older. Approximately 15% all cancers were diagnosed 20 years ago and more than half of cancer survivors are older than 65 years of age. The 5 year survival rate for all cancers diagnosed during 2005-2011 was 69% up from 49% during 1975- 1977, according to www.cancer.org. The great news according to the American Cancer Society is that cancer rates are dropping and survivorship is growing. This statistic is based upon better treatments, along with better and quicker detection.
National Cancer Survivor is designed to be a day to celebrate life. “National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community.” www.ncsd.org
Surviving mesothelioma is a big challenge. If you have been diagnosed or living with mesothelioma, this is your day to recognize all that you and your family have been through. You have worked hard to get to this point. If you look around you can find people who are living and going on with life after this diagnosis. There will be celebrations throughout communities, hospitals and local medical centers. This is a celebration to let people know how rewarding life can be after battling a cancer diagnosis.
As much as we study the cancer diagnosis we are aware that cancer has its effects on patients physically and mentally. As cancer survivorship increases so does the support and education to obtain a healthy lifestyle. There are many support groups that help with living life after cancer and its treatment.
Celebrate how far mesothelioma research has come and how nice it is to be a survivor on the first Sunday of June!