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Who is a cancer survivor? A cancer survivor is a person diagnosed with cancer or affected by that diagnosis, such as a family member, friend or caregiver.

This definition of a cancer survivor is adapted from The National Action Plan, a cancer survivorship collaborative effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Lance Armstrong Foundation

Cancer affects one out of three individuals, either as a patient or a loved one. The focus on early detection and effective treatment means more people than ever before are surviving cancer.

But cancer survivors, including breast cancer survivors, may face a variety of physical, psychological, social, spiritual and financial issues as they move through diagnosis, treatment, and for the remaining years of their lives. Here are some of the issues The National Action Plan hopes to address:

  • Prevent secondary cancers and cancer recurrence whenever possible
  • Ensure the maximum number of years of healthy life for cancer survivors through optimal disease management
  • Minimize pain, disability and psychosocial distress for those living with, through and beyond cancer
  • Assist cancer survivors with appropriate support and resources for themselves, family, friends and colleagues

Helpful resources to learn more about cancer survivorship