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Cancer Survivorship

Cancer Survivorship | Did You Know?

An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis through the rest of life. Learn why the number of cancer survivors is increasing and more.

Millions of adults and children in the United States have been diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. A person is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis through the balance of life. There are many types of survivors, including those living with cancer and those free of cancer. What being a survivor means to you may change over time, and some people might prefer another term entirely to describe themselves. 

These pages focus on helping survivors cope with the issues they may face after completing cancer treatment or, if they are living with metastatic or advanced cancer, the issues they may face during ongoing treatment. To learn about ways to cope with an initial diagnosis, see Coping with Cancer.

To read our booklet for cancer survivors, see NCI's Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment. To learn more about survivorship and NCI research, and to read stories from cancer survivors, see our Office of Cancer Survivorship page. 

  • Life After Cancer Treatment

    Learn about adjusting to physical and emotional changes after cancer treatment and coping with fear of recurrence as a cancer survivor.

  • Follow-Up Medical Care

    Information about follow-up medical care for patients who have completed cancer treatment. Discusses your follow-up care plan, getting a wellness plan, and guidelines for a healthy lifestyle.

  • Late Effects of Cancer Treatment

    Cancer treatment can cause late effects that may not show up for months or years after treatment. These late effects may include heart and lung problems, bone loss, eye and hearing changes, lymphedema, and other problems.

  • Family Issues after Treatment

    Discusses common family problems and issues that often occur after treatment and ways to cope.

  • Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors

    Survivorship care for children who have been treated for cancer is important. Get your child's treatment summary, survivorship plan, and recommendations on follow-up care clinics. Learn about long-term and late effects.

  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Have Finished Treatment

    Suggested questions for cancer patients to ask their doctors after treatment is finished and they are planning for follow-up care and next steps.

As hard as treatment is, many cancer survivors say that the experience led them to make important changes in their lives. It helped them learn the value of being grateful for each day and for the people in their lives.