Cancer Survivor Stories


Stories by Type of Cancer

Breast Cancer in Young Women
Emily and Caroline

Sisters Emily and Caroline have a BRCA gene mutation. They took different paths.

Cervical Cancer

“We need to adopt a mindset that ensures that we are making ourselves a priority,” says Patti.

Colorectal Cancer

“The surgery was successful. But I never would have found it early if I hadn’t been screened,” says Robert.

Ovarian Cancer

“If my doctor hadn’t acted quickly, the outcome would have been much different,” says Janet.

Uterine Cancer

“Listen to your body—it does tell you things. It’s about knowing yourself. Once you know, you can fight it,’” says Lynn.

Vaginal and Vulvar Cancers

“Do not let fear, embarrassment, or shame prevent you from finding the help you need,” says Sarah.

Improving Cancer Survivors’ Mental Health Care

Patient-Provider Communication: Improving the Mental Health of Cancer Survivors

Four cancer survivors share their stories about talking to their doctors about mental health issues during and after their cancer treatment.

Let’s Talk About Breast Cancer Risk

Ten women share their stories about how hereditary breast and ovarian cancer has affected them. Learn about the conversations these women have had, or plan to have, with their family members about their family history of cancer.

Watch Their Stories

Blog Posts

Jackie Nixon

How did Jackie, who never smoked, develop lung cancer? She is grateful that she found an answer.

Celeste Smalls-Sumpter

“Only you know your body,” said breast cancer survivor Celeste. “Listen to your inner voice, whatever you may call it.”


“I was a bit surprised, but not shocked,” Lorenzo said when a routine checkup showed his PSA level was high.


“Look for the light at the end of the tunnel, because it is there whether you notice it at first or not,” says Tyler.


“The only person I have hugged since the pandemic has been [my wife] Denise,” says David, a colon cancer survivor.


“It is always okay to ask questions. Navigating this process can be hard,” says Andrea, a breast cancer survivor.

Robin and her two children

“I fell in love with the sun-assisted caramel color that my Afro Puerto Rican roots blessed me with every summer,” says melanoma survivor Robin.


“Keeping my mind focused and my attitude positive made all the difference in the world,” says breast cancer survivor Ronda.


“The impact of cancer doesn’t stop as soon as treatment is finished,” says Jordyn.


“When you hear the word ‘cancer,’ your world changes in an instant,” says Lewis.


“The doctor asked, ‘How long have you had hepatitis C?’ And I said, ‘I didn’t even know I had it!’” recalls Gary.


George had already survived cancer twice when his doctor told him he had prostate cancer.


Photo of Jackie

“Now I know there’s no obstacle that I can’t handle. Survivorship means taking charge, understanding what you have to do to take care of yourself, and working with your doctors as a team,” says Jackie, who survived lung cancer.

Podcast [MP3-4.3MB] | Transcript [TXT-3KB]

Photo of Pam

“I have what I call a ‘new normal.’ That means a different attitude towards life. I do as much as I can by eating well, exercising, and keeping my stress levels down,” says Pam, who survived breast cancer.

Podcast [MP3-4.9MB] | Transcript [TXT-4KB]

Photo of Carletta

“It was the moment when the diagnosis, the treatment, the road behind, the road ahead, all converged. Somewhere from within, we find a strength that helps us to overcome. Cancer did not win,” says Carletta, who survived breast cancer.

Podcast [MP3-24.5MB] | Transcript [TXT-10KB]