- “I’m not sure if I can call myself a cancer survivor.“
- “It has not been five years since my diagnosis so I can’t say that I am a cancer survivor.”
- “I don’t want to jinx myself by saying I’m a cancer survivor.”
- “I still have evidence of cancer on my CT scans, so I don’t feel like a cancer survivor.”
As an oncology nurse practitioner, these are some of the many statements that I hear from my patients. Many patients either don’t identify with the term cancer survivor or are not sure if they qualify to use the term.
The answer is that no matter where you are on your cancer journey, anyone who has been given a cancer diagnosis is a cancer survivor. And that makes sense because every day that you are living and breathing, you are surviving a cancer diagnosis.
“A patient is a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis to the end of life.”
– definition of a cancer survivor from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Cancer is not a solo journey
The definition of a cancer survivor has been expanded to include family friends and loved ones, as we know that a cancer diagnosis affects more than just the patient.
And you are not alone
There are currently 16.9 million cancer survivors in the US, and that number is estimated to be 22.2 million by the year 2030 (cancer.gov).
And with patient navigation from Navvisa you will always have someone to walk the journey with you.
By Angela Laffan MS, ANP, ACONP3, Survivorship Expert at Navvisa