National Cancer Survivors’ Day celebrates the beauty of life

in Potpourri by

It’s a safe bet that anyone reading this article has had his or her life touched in some way by cancer. Whether a friend or family member has battled the disease, or you yourself have received a diagnosis, it’s difficult to escape—in fact, government statistics show that nearly 40 percent of men and women are diagnosed with cancer of some type in their lifetime.

The good news (and there really is tremendous news) is that the survival rate for cancer is up, and it continues to rise. More people are beating cancer than ever before, and that’s cause for celebration. No, more than celebration—it’s cause for a great, big, ginormous international party.

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That party is taking place this Sunday, June 7. It’s the 28th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, a celebration of life held in hundreds of communities worldwide. On that day, millions of cancer survivors in America and around the world will connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way.

images“For the vast majority of survivors, cancer is no longer the automatic death sentence that it was a few decades ago,” said Laura Shipp, spokesperson for the National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) Foundation. “Among U.S. adults, the five-year relative survival rate for all cancers combined is now approximately 68 percent. In 1987, the year that NCSD began, that number was just 56 percent.” According to the American Cancer Society, the number of cancer survivors in the United States will grow from the current 14 million to nearly 19 million by 2024. Shipp stated:

“National Cancer Survivors Day is an opportunity for cancer survivors to join with each other and celebrate this new reality in cancer survivorship, that more people are living longer and better quality lives after cancer than ever before.”

(The NCSD defines a survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.)

Michael Ruscoe is a writer, teacher, and musician living in Southern Connecticut. He is the author of the novel, "From the Stray Cat Files: You’ll Do Anything," the anthology, "Baseball: A Treasury of Art and Literature," and numerous educational texts. An instructor at Southern Connecticut State University, Ruscoe is also lead singer and songwriter for the indie band Save the Androids! In his spare time he earns karma for his next life by ardently following the New York Mets. The proud father of two children, Ruscoe also cares for and supports a pair of goldfish, who, in all honesty, are not very good conversationalists.

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