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Cancer J. 2008 Nov-Dec;14(6):361-8. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0b013e31818ec48e.

What are cancer survivors telling us?

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Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Cancer Institute, NIH/DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-8336, USA.


Among the great medical success stories of the 20th century was our ability to turn cancer, once almost uniformly fatal, into an illness that was curable for more people, and could be controlled in most. As a result of advances in screening and early detection, the development of effective treatments and the delivery of better supportive care, the population of those living long term with a history of cancer continues to grow. The field of cancer survivorship research, now entering its adolescence, has developed to help us better understand the human and social challenges of living long term after cancer. Estimated at approaching 12 million, cancer survivors have taught us a number of important lessons about what it means to live beyond a cancer diagnosis. In this article, 7 of these lessons will be discussed along with their implications for current clinical practice and future directions in cancer survivorship research.

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