(Mirror Daily, United States) – The United States has reached a 15.5 million record number of cancer survivors this year and according to the American Cancer Society, in 10 years they will be over 20 million.
However, there is a high demand for psychological, emotional and medical support to assure the long-term recovery of the survivors.
According to Kimberly Miller, American Cancer Society epidemiologist, it is crucial for all cancer survivors to deal with long-term psychological and physical effects of their cancer treatment. Plus, the public health community must become more committed to supporting these survivors.
The study authors underlined the fact that cancer rates dropped off for men and stabilized for women thanks to improved treatment and detection.
In addition to this, the aging population has grown as the statistics have shown that around half of the survivors are at least 70 years old, and 56 percent of them were diagnosed during the past 10 years. One-third of them were diagnosed 5 five years ago or less.
Men survivors used to suffer from melanoma, 614,000; colon or rectal cancer, 725,000; and prostate cancer, 3.3 million. Women survivors mostly suffered from colon or rectal cancer, 727,000; uterine cancer, 757,000; and breast cancer, 3.5 million.
However, these are not the most encountered forms of cancer because lung cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed in men, but it is ranked eighth among survivors because only a few fight back this disease.
Another finding regarding survivors is that there is a strong connection between their age and the type of cancer. For instance, 65,000 cancer survivors are 14 years old or under, whereas 47,000 are 15 to 19 years old. Furthermore, 64 percent of prostate cancer survivors are at least 70 years old compared to just 37 percent of melanoma survivors.
According to Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, because cancer has a tremendous impact on patients and their families, it is crucial to provide them with physical, financial and emotional support. Bernik underlined that cancer also affects the patient’s mind and spirit, making the fight with this disease at least twice more difficult.
Cancer survivors are those who are cancer free, have a history of cancer and the ones still in treatment.
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