This is a common question among women who have recently gone through treatment for ovarian cancer–and rightfully so. While the thought of remission can bring a sense of relief, there are also concerns about what other challenges may lie ahead regarding lifestyle changes, fertility, and the possible chance of recurrence.
If you have recently finished ovarian cancer treatment it is important to remember to give yourself time to adjust to any physical and emotional changes you are going through. Eventually, ovarian cancer survivors re-establish a daily routine–and you will too, at your own pace.
At Arizona Oncology, we understand that cancer impacts every aspect of our patients’ lives, with effects that can last for a long time after initial therapy is completed. Our survivorship nurse practitioner Katy Clarke, FNP answers some common questions about cancer survivorship and our survivorship program.
Am I a cancer survivor?
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, yes! You are considered a cancer survivor from the day of your diagnosis until the day of your death from any cause. You do not have to wait for a certain number of years, or be considered free of disease, in remission, or cured to be a cancer survivor.
Cancer affects more than 1.7 million people in the US today. More than 15.5 million Americans will be living beyond cancer. The American Cancer Society reports a majority of cancer survivors (67%) were diagnosed 5 or more years ago, and 17% were diagnosed 20 or more years ago. Prostate, breast and colorectal cancers are the most common diagnoses among survivors. The increase in survival rates over the last 5 years can be attributed to early detection methods for cancer screening, and advancements in identifying new targeted cancer therapies. As cancer detection and treatment continue to improve on disease free survival, it is estimated that there will be 20.3 million survivors by 2026.