The first Saturday in June is the day we recognize and celebrate cancer survivors, and raise awareness of the challenges of cancer survivorship. In 2021, Cancer Survivors Day is on June 5th.
There’s an epidemic in the world today, one that seeps into every level of the social strata. Education is no protection and nor is wealth. While there are ways to reduce the possibility that a person will be one of the almost 2 million people per year that are affected by it, the causes of this plague are only poorly understood. Every year 450 men and women out of every 100,000 are diagnosed with one of the dozens of kinds of cancer, and 171 men and women die from it.
Many survivors go on to fulfill their dreams and find joy and happiness once again. Cancer Survivors Day is for those who have faced off against this most dread of ailments and risen again to live full, happy lives. It’s a time for people with similar stories and experiences to come together and celebrate their strength and perseverance. It’s no easy feat and a milestone to be recognized and appreciated. It’s the idea that there’s not only hope for a brighter future but to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.
Cancer Survivors Day was established to recognize and celebrate those who have battled cancer and won, and to help bring hope to those still battling this terrible disease. So who is considered a cancer survivor? The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. While the numbers above sound terrible, there is more hope than they imply, in the US alone, there are 14.5 million people who have beat or are living with cancer and 32 million around the world. The numbers reflect great success, and the survival rate gets higher with every passing year.
Cancer hangs over most people’s minds and hearts as a death sentence, and the reaction in saying someone you know has it is palpable. But both those who have cancer and their families need to know that it is far from helpless. Treatment is getting more effective, and there are groups around the world that get together to help the cancer patient and their families make it through the very long and hard road that is treatment and recovery.
Cancer Survivors Day is also dedicated to helping to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and treatment. The fight isn’t over and, in fact, it’s just heating up, and cancer is in the cross-hairs. With the efforts of organizations like the National Cancer Survivor’s Day Foundation and the American Cancer Association, a cure for cancer is just around the corner.
Not only is it a day for thousands to gather to celebrate those who have survived, but it’s a chance to inspire those with a recent diagnosis that it is possible to overcome and beat cancer. Consider it a way to offer support for survivors and family and people everywhere who have been or continue to be impacted by this life-altering disease.