Nearly 13.7 million people in the United States are alive today who have been diagnosed with cancer. This includes over 165,000 North Carolina men, women and children. Every 30 seconds, someone in the United States hears a doctor say, “You have cancer.” The number of cancer survivors keeps going up because cancer is being found earlier and there are better treatments.
- More than two out of three people with cancer can plan to live for five years or longer after being diagnosed;
- 65 percent of adults diagnosed with cancer today will be living five years from now; and
- For children with cancer, the five year survival rate is greater than 75 percent.
Who is a cancer survivor?
A cancer survivor is someone who has been diagnosed with cancer (of any type) who is still living.
- Cancer survivorship begins at the time cancer is found.
- It continues for the rest of life.
- It includes others – family members, other loved ones, friends, and caregivers who are touched by the cancer.
Stages of Survivorship
There are four stages of cancer survivorship:
- Stage 1: Living with cancer is what a person goes through after the cancer has been found and any treatment that may follow.
- Stage 2: Living through cancer is the time that follows treatment and the chance of the cancer returning has done down.
- Stage 3: Living beyond cancer is life after treatment and long‐time survivorship.
- Stage 4: End of life supports life and sees dying as a normal process.