June is National Cancer Survivor Month and National Cancer Survivors Day is Sunday, June 2. National Cancer Survivors Day is a day to celebrate and recognize cancer survivors, inspire those recently diagnosed, and, most importantly, to celebrate life. It is a day for everyone to celebrate, whether you’re a cancer survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional. The day provides an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way.
It is also a day to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life. We hear about more people living with, and surviving, cancer than ever before. Thanks to advances in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and follow-up care, more people than ever before are surviving the disease. According to the official website for the National Cancer Survivors Day, more than 15.5 million people are alive today after being diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. What are the main concerns for cancer survivors after treatment?
- Going back to “normal”
- Staying positive
- Learning to live with uncertainty – will my cancer come back?
- Long-term side effects from cancer treatment
- Get support – support groups, counseling, spirituality and religion
According to the American Cancer Society, the nationwide health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem, to help reduce your cancer risk, you should do the following things:
- Stay away from all forms of tobacco.
- Get to, and stay, at a healthy weight.
- Get moving with regular physical activity.
- Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
- Protect your skin.
- Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
- Get regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
Cancer screenings, like mammograms, colonoscopies and PSA tests, increase the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely to be curable. An important vaccine is the HPV vaccine that prevents infection by certain types of human papillomavirus that may cause cervical cancer, anal cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, and possibly some mouth cancer. If you have a newer health insurance plan or insurance policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010, there are several preventive services that are covered without you having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet your deductible. Check out www.HHS.gov to see what preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act.
Austin CyberKnife treats many types of cancer, including metastatic cancer, or cancer that has returned. Whether you, or a loved one, have been recently diagnosed or re-diagnosed with cancer, talking to your doctor to learn more about the disease and treatments that are right for you is an important first step. You have many treatment choices and learning about the different cancer treatment options will help you make the right decisions for you. Become your own patient advocate. Get informed and take control by:
- Asking questions
- Doing your own research
- Finding out how different treatments can affect your health and lifestyle
- Seeking a second opinion
- It never hurts to get a second opinion.
Contact Austin CyberKnife, we are available for second opinions and will help answer any questions you may have about cancer treatment. Austin CyberKnife is located on I-35 near the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. Call 512-324-8060 or go to austincyberknife.com for more details.
Sponsored by Austin Cyberknife. Opinions expressed by guests on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.