Hundreds of communities throughout the world will observe the 25th annual National Cancer Survivors Day this Sunday. Communities will host events on this day to honor cancer survivors and show that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful, fulfilling, and even inspiring.
National Cancer Survivors Day is a cherished annual worldwide celebration of life. It is a day for everyone, whether you're a cancer survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional. This day provides an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer - including America's 12 million cancer survivors - to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize the healthcare providers, family, and friends who have supported them along the way. "A 'survivor' is anyone living with a history of cancer - from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life," according to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation.
NCSD activities will be as diverse as the communities where the events are being held and will include parades, carnivals, walks, races, art exhibits, health fairs, dances, inspirational programs, and more. The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, administrator for the celebration, is encouraging everyone to participate in their community's event. T
o locate the one nearest you, check with your local cancer treatment center, hospital, or American Cancer Society office. Or you can host an event of your own. Anyone can download a free planning guide at ncsd.org with everything you need to plan a successful NCSD celebration.
"Some people still think of cancer as a death sentence," says Foundation spokesperson, Laura Shipp. "But the fact is that more than 12 million cancer survivors are living - and thriving - in the United States today. National Cancer Survivors Day is an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate that there is life after cancer. Some even find that life is more rewarding after facing cancer."
NCSD started in the United States in 1987 and is now also celebrated worldwide in countries including Canada, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Malaysia, according to Ms. Shipp. The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation provides free guidance, education, and networking to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host National Cancer Survivors Day events in their communities.
The Foundation's primary mission is to educate the public on the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors. Cancer survivors may face physical, emotional, social, and financial challenges as a result of their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Many are confronted with limited access to specialists and promising new treatments, inadequate or no insurance, difficulty finding employment, and psychosocial struggles.
"Despite these obstacles, cancer survivors can lead active, productive, inspiring lives," said Ms. Shipp. The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, along with the NCSD 2012 national sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coping with Cancer magazine, Genentech, and Lilly USA, LLC, is encouraging a greater commitment to resolving the issues of cancer survivorship.
"More resources, research, and increased public awareness is needed to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors," said Ms. Shipp. "The accomplishments of modern science are evident in the ever growing cancer survivor population. However, we need to do a better job of addressing the hardships survivors face beyond treatment."