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Notice to Readers: Cancer Survivorship --- June 2008

National Cancer Survivors Day was June 1. Throughout the month of June, CDC is focusing attention on the needs of cancer survivors. Currently, approximately 11 million persons in the United States are living with a previously diagnosed cancer, a threefold increase from the estimated 3 million persons who were living with cancer in 1971 (1,2).

Today, approximately 65% of persons diagnosed with cancer are expected to live at least 5 years after diagnosis (2), but disparities in health care can affect survival. Low-income persons who have inadequate or no health insurance coverage are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at later stages, when the potential for survival is reduced (3).

The National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship (4), developed by CDC, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and multiple partners, identified public health needs of cancer survivors and proposed strategies to meet those needs. Additional information, including descriptions of CDC's cancer survivorship research initiatives and partnerships and links to national publications highlighting health-care needs of cancer survivors is available at


  1. CDC. Cancer survivorship---United States, 1971--2001. MMWR 2004;53:526--9.
  2. Ries LAG, Melbert D, Krapcho M, et al., eds. SEER cancer statistics review, 1975--2004. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2007. Available at
  3. Schwartz KL, Crossley-May H, Vigneau FD, Brown K, Banerjee M. Race, socioeconomic status and stage at diagnosis for five common malignancies. Cancer Causes Control 2003;14:761--6.
  4. CDC, Lance Armstrong Foundation. A national action plan for cancer survivorship: advancing public health strategies. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2004.

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Date last reviewed: 6/4/2008


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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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