>> Monday, May 24, 2010
For the past few years so much of my work has centered on creating oncology sites for promising new treatments. While they don’t necessarily mean a cure, they can translate to something else: survivorship.
Chances are, you probably know at least one cancer survivor.
Because it turns out over 11 million people in the U.S. are living with, through and beyond cancer. That’s something like 1 in 30 Americans. In fact, 66% of patients diagnosed with cancer today will live at least another five years.
I spoke with my friend Becky about the lingering impact of moving beyond her breast cancer. She says the word anniversary takes on a new meaning. Being cancer-free doesn’t mean that it ever leaves the back of her mind. Yet she’s grateful for the new perspective it gave her on life.
It turns out beating cancer doesn’t always become an endpoint. Instead it may be the beginning of a new phase of living. One of the heartening aspects of survivorship is that there are so many resources online to deal with it. Currently, nytimes.com/health is running a series of profiles on life after cancer. Another site, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship canceradvocacy.org has been a trusted resource for over 20 years.
Survivorship brings a whole new set of challenges to cancer. And it gives wellness a compelling sense of urgency.
With millions of survivors out there, it’s a path you don’t have to take by yourself.