On National Cancer Survivors Day® – Sunday, June 3, 2018 – cancer survivors and supporters in communities around the world will come together to celebrate life and raise awareness of the challenges faced by cancer survivors.
There are an estimated 15.5 million people are living with and beyond cancer in the U.S. today. By 2026, that number is expected to increase to 20.3 million. On Sunday, June 3, 2018, people across the U.S. and abroad will gather in their local communities to acknowledge all cancer survivors, and to raise awareness of the challenges of cancer survivorship, in observance of the 31st National Cancer Survivors Day®.
National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual, worldwide Celebration of Life held on the first Sunday in June. Hundreds of cities around the world will hold celebrations on this day to recognize cancer survivors, to bring attention to the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face, and to celebrate life.
“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, administrator for the celebration.
“National Cancer Survivors Day® is an opportunity for people to stand with the cancer survivors in their community and make a commitment to address the challenges of cancer survivorship,” says Foundation spokesperson Laura Shipp. “It’s a day to advocate for more resources, research, and legislation to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors and, particularly, to lessen the financial burden of cancer.
“But it is also a day to celebrate. We’re living in a new era of cancer survivorship. Cancer mortality rates are steadily declining, and cancer survivors are living longer than ever before. And, while we know there is more work to do, we want to give cancer survivors one day to just celebrate life. It may be complicated and challenging and unpredictable, but life after cancer can also be beautiful, meaningful, and inspiring. And that’s something to celebrate.”
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation is encouraging everyone to take part in their community’s NCSD celebration. To find 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 using the resources available through the National Cancer Survivors Day® website, ncsd.org.
NCSD celebrations will be as diverse as the cities where the events are being held. From parades and carnivals to health fairs and cancer awareness runs, each community will celebrate in its own unique way. Collectively, National Cancer Survivors Day® celebrations give cancer survivors an opportunity to share their stories, to connect with other survivors, to celebrate personal milestones, and to recognize those who have supported them. NCSD also gives communities a chance to stand alongside these survivors and raise awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer presents.
The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation offers free guidance, education, networking resources, and assistance to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host official National Cancer Survivors Day® events in their communities. The Foundation’s primary mission is to bring awareness to the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors.
Since 1991, the overall cancer death rate in the U.S. has fallen by 25 percent. This means that more Americans than ever are surviving cancer. However, despite their growing numbers, cancer survivors often must contend with rapidly rising drug costs, inadequate insurance coverage, difficulty finding or keeping employment, and ongoing physical, psychological, and financial struggles.
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, along with NCSD 2018 national supporters Elekta, Exelixis, Genentech, Janssen, and Coping with Cancer magazine, is encouraging everyone across the U.S., and abroad, to stand with these survivors on National Cancer Survivors Day® and make a commitment to addressing the challenges of cancer survival.
“Over the past two decades, we’ve seen great progress being made toward extending cancer survival,” says Shipp. “And while we obviously want to see that progress continue, the Foundation believes we must work to increase not only years of life but also quality of life. And that includes addressing the financial toxicity caused by cancer diagnosis and treatment.”
Leading up to National Cancer Survivors Day®, the NCSD Foundation urges everyone to spread the message that life after cancer is about more than just counting years. It’s about making those years count.