Who is a Survivor?
Several nationally recognized organizations have helped define this ubiquitous term survivor. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) defines a cancer survivor as anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis until the end of life. The NCI also factors in the impact of cancer on family, friends, and caregivers of survivors as part of their definition of cancer survivorship. The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) defines survivorship as living with, through, and beyond cancer.
What exactly is survivorship?
Regardless of your personal definition of a cancer survivor, survivorship is recognized nationally as the span of time between an individual’s cancer diagnosis and the end of his or her life. Survivorship care has become increasingly important as the number of cancer survivors continues to grow in the US. Research and recommendations by nationally-recognized organizations such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the LIVESTRONG Foundation have blossomed over the last several years. The long-term and late effects of cancer and its treatment has emphasized the need for survivorship programs that address the myriad of physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual, and economic concerns experienced by this growing population.