3 Tips to Remember on National Cancer Survivors Day
There are nearly 17 million cancer survivors in the United States. This number continues to grow as we discover better ways to diagnose and treat cancer. The word “survivor” means different things to different people, but whether you use the word “survivor” or prefer a word like “warrior,” the idea is the same. Being a survivor means taking an active, positive role in your own care.
National Cancer Survivors Day is held annually on the first Sunday in June. On this day, communities around the world come together to recognize cancer survivors. It’s also a time to raise awareness about the challenges of survivorship. In recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day, we’ve gathered 3 top tips for navigating survivorship.
1. Make one decision at a time.
Survivorship can feel daunting and overwhelming. Try to focus only on today's problems. Avoid thinking about worst-case scenarios for the future. Taking one small step at a time can help you move forward and feel more in control.
2. Develop a survivorship care plan to help you and your loved ones.
Survivorship care plans are individualized plans that can help cancer survivors monitor their health. A survivorship care plan can:
- Detail your diagnosis
- Outline the treatments you have had or are currently taking
- Tell you who to contact on your healthcare team with questions or concerns
- Explain symptoms or side effects you might experience
- Indicate who to call if you need help managing side effects
- Outline what you should do and who you should see for follow-up care
Tip: Even if your cancer journey is complicated, you can set small goals and enjoy daily pleasures. Your family, culture, or spiritual beliefs may help you think about hope in a new way.
3. Make good nutrition an important part of your care beyond cancer treatment.
Nutrition helps with:
- Recovery and healing
- Regaining strength and weight
- Managing ongoing side effects
- Reducing risk of a future cancer diagnosis by keeping you healthy
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Aim to “eat the rainbow.” Consider the different colors of fruits and vegetables when determining the best foods to eat. Common foods that provide phytonutrients for cancer prevention include cherries, tomatoes, berries, cruciferous vegetables, and bran from grains. Find these tips and more in our booklet Eating Well for Cancer Survivors.
Where can I find survivorship resources and support?
Survivorship requires many things: physical activity, nutrition, a healthy emotional life, and management of any health concerns that may arise. You can improve your quality of life by addressing these factors together in an active way.
The following resources may help you achieve the highest quality of life after treatment has ended.
- Visit our Cancer Survivorship page for more information about survivorship, including resources to help you navigate your journey.
- Connect with our Cancer Support Helpline by phone or online via our live chat service. Our experienced Helpline staff are here to offer free support and coaching for cancer patients or their loved ones.
- Create a private support website where you can document your journey and receive support from friends and family along the way.
Tip: Take time to enjoy the moment. Listen to music, read a book, or take a walk. Yoga, tai chi, or meditation programs are also helpful.
The Cancer Support Community believes that community is stronger than cancer. We are a relentless ally for anyone who strives to manage the realities of this disruptive disease, so that no one faces cancer alone. Be sure to check our blog section often as we share more news, stories, and inspiration to help support you on your journey.