Healthy Survivorship uses the definition of cancer survivorship provided by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship in 1986: “ The process of living with, through, and beyond cancer. By this definition, cancer survivorship begins at diagnosis. It includes people who continue to have treatment to either reduce risk of recurrence or to manage chronic disease.”
There are at least 3 distinct phases associated with cancer survival, including the time from diagnosis to the end of initial treatment, the transition from treatment to extended survival, and long-term survival.
After a cancer diagnosis, many cancer survivors speak of a “new normal.” Many cancer survivors say they appreciate life more and that their priorities about career, lifestyle and relationships change. All cancer survivors experience their cancer differently; some become more anxious about their health and become uncertain of how to cope with their health and the effects of their cancer experience. Frequently, people who have experienced cancer consider their close friends and families “co-survivors” based on the experiences they had as a cancer caregiver.