Millions of Americans are cancer survivors, living with, through, and beyond cancer. As the number of cancer survivors grows, CDC is working with partner organizations to help survivors throughout their cancer experience.
The Good News
People are living longer after a cancer diagnosis.
- Nearly 12 million Americans are alive after being told they have cancer.
- Due to medical advances, people are living many years after a cancer diagnosis.
- About two-thirds of people with cancer are expected to live at least 5 years after diagnosis.
Living With, Through, and Beyond Cancer
Cancer survivors often face physical, emotional, social, and financial challenges as a result of their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Also, survivors are at greater risk of having their first cancer recur, developing second cancers, and having other health conditions due to—
- The immediate and long-term effects of treatment.
- Obesity and unhealthy behaviors like smoking and lack of physical activity.
- Risk factors that contributed to the first cancer.
Cancer survivorship affects not only the cancer patient, but also his or her family members, friends, and neighbors who often help with daily tasks.
What CDC Is Doing
The CANCER: Survivors in Focus exhibition at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum tells survivors’ stories through the work of three photographers who examine cancer survivorship globally, in the United States, and at CDC. Inspired by the exhibition, CDC shares words of wisdom from employees who have survived cancer or cared for a survivor on CDC’s Stories of Survivorship.
“My faith, family, friends, and amazing CDC family were always there cheering me on,” says Julie Locklear, CDC employee and breast cancer survivor.
Many other words of wisdom are shared in CDC’s Stories of Survivorship, a tribute to members of the CDC family whose lives have been touched by cancer.
CDC’s cancer survivorship activities include—
- Helping states, tribal groups, territories, and Pacific Island jurisdictions address cancer survivorship through comprehensive cancer control initiatives.
- Supporting national organizations in the development, dissemination, and coordination of comprehensive cancer prevention, early detection, and survivorship activities in underserved populations.
- Studying various aspects of survivorship, including—
- Regularly monitoring information about cancer survivors through existing nationwide surveys, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the National Health Interview Survey, and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
- Collecting and analyzing specialized data on barriers to receiving appropriate follow-up care, late and long-term effects of treatment, health behaviors, and psychosocial issues among various populations of cancer survivors.
- Evaluating the feasibility and acceptance of survivorship care plans and routine medical care for cancer survivors in various clinical settings.
- Using research findings to plan, implement, and evaluate cancer control strategies.
- Funding organizations to improve the overall health and quality of life of young breast cancer survivors by—
- Providing structured support services to young breast cancer survivors and their families.
- Developing educational and awareness resources aimed at enhancing patient and provider knowledge of health behaviors and risk reduction.
Through the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center, CDC—
- Supports the development and distribution of a broad range of cancer survivorship informational materials, including clinical care guidance and provider education materials.
- Promotes healthy behaviors to reduce late and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment.
- Improves surveillance and screening practices to detect cancer recurrence.
- Cancer Survivorship
- Supervivencia al cáncer
- Links Related to Cancer Survivorship
- CDC’s Cancer Survivorship Research
- Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients
- Listen to or download a podcast
- Beating Cancer (2011) (3:21)
- Send a Health-e-Card
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
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