A lot of negativity tends to surround the word "cancer," but National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) offers a more positive message. June 5, 2016 is set aside as the day to celebrate survivors, inspire those who were recently diagnosed, support families and bring the community together.
Cancer Survivors In The U.S.
A cancer survivor is anyone who has a history of cancer in their lifetime. From the moment of diagnosis and throughout the remainder of their lifetime, anyone who has cancer or had it in the past is a survivor. Worldwide, there are more than 32 million cancer survivors. Of the survivors, 14.5 million live in the U.S. Each year, the number of cancer survivors continues to grow. By 2024, this number is expected to rise to 19 million.
This may make it sound like there are more cancer cases each year, but in fact the opposite is true. Cancer diagnoses are declining while cancer survival rates are increasing. Part of the reason for this is due to improvements in treatment and early detection.
Awareness For Cancer Survivors
Thanks to improved treatments, cancer survivors are living longer and experiencing a better quality of life than ever before. However, part of survivorship is coping with the changes that cancer brings. One way NCSD celebrates life is by raising awareness about the issues faced by many cancer survivors after their cancer is treated. Successful treatments undoubtedly bring a lot of joy and relief, but many cancer survivors also face financial hardships as well as physical, emotional, social and psychological distress as a result of their cancer treatments.
In each cancer awareness month throughout the year, organizations stress the importance of knowing the symptoms of cancer and seeking treatment as early as possible. NCSD, on the other hand, aims to raise awareness about the needs of cancer survivors after they are diagnosed or treated.
After a cancer diagnosis, there are several things survivors can do to live a better, healthier life.
- Eat a healthy variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and lean proteins.
- Get plenty of exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid cancer-causing substances such as alcohol and tobacco.
- Use sun protection to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
- Be aware of cancer recurrence and learn which symptoms to watch out for.
- Reduce stress and practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, Tai Chi or meditation.
How To Show Your Support Today
On NCSD, there are plenty of ways to support cancer survivors and make a difference in your community. Many cities hold community walks, speaking events or other festivities to celebrate NCSD. If you can't find an event near you, consider doing something special for someone in your life who is a cancer survivor.
Another great way to give back is by making a car donation to Wheels For Wishes. Our car donation program helps give kids with cancer and other conditions a better life! Check out which children's charity benefits from your car donation here. Your car donation will help kids in your community! Make a donation today by calling 1-877-431-9474 or filling out an online car donation form.