National Cancer Survivors Day is coming up
There are a lot of made up national “days” we all ignore, but here is one I can get behind: National Cancer Survivors Day. It is observed on the first Sunday in June, so this year it is on June 7.
Cancer touches so many of us (almost 17 million Americans have a history of cancer) and with the advancements in diagnosing and treating, more people than ever get to be survivors. I know, because I am one.
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It has been almost exactly three years since I was discharged from the hospital after my rounds of chemotherapy and subsequent recovery. I had been diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2016 and was referred for treatment to Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. The treatment I got there was excellent and after immunotherapies and, ultimately, surgery and chemo, I was declared to be in remission (they never tell you that you’re “cured,” but I no longer have any cancer in my body).
I have checkups twice a year, one with the surgeon who performed the surgery and one with the medical oncologist who oversaw my chemo; it just so happens that my yearly appointment with the oncologist is this week and while I can’t be sure it will go well, he described my last visit as a “high five” appointment. I haven’t encountered any problems as a cancer survivor, but not everyone is that lucky.
According to the National Cancer Survivor Day Foundation, some survivors have to deal with limited access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments, denial of health insurance and life insurance coverage, difficulty finding jobs, economic burdens due to mounting medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced productivity.
If you, or someone you know is dealing with one of these issues, there are resources available, including from the National Cancer Institute, and Cancer.net. For a more complete list of available resources, visit the National Cancer Survivor Day Foundation’s resource page here.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.