The term ‘cancer survivor’ means different things to different people.
- For some, it means anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer.
- Others use it to refer to people who are alive many years after their cancer treatment.
- You may feel that survivorship is a phase that you move in and out of at different times.
- We use the term ‘survivor’ to mean anyone who has finished their active cancer treatment.
- There are more than 700,000 survivors in Australia and the number is growing due to earlier detection and better treatment.
The idea of being a survivor brings many wide-ranging reactions.
- For many people it is a strong and positive label.
- However, some people don’t like it because they feel it implies that they will struggle to cope with the cancer.
- You may find it difficult to relate to the title of survivor because you believe your treatment was relatively straightforward compared to other patients.
The transition from patient to survivor is different for everyone. Some people consider themselves a survivor from the time they are free from signs of cancer (in remission), however for others this may occur when active treatment stops.
Either way, you may wonder: what now?