National Cancer Survivor's Day 2020

by Jane Ashley

Sunday, June 7, 2020, is National Cancer Survivors Day®. It is the day to celebrate our survival and to be an inspiration to those who are newly diagnosed. It’s also a day for community outreach as we reach out to create awareness that more and more people are surviving cancer. 

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Our day also focuses on the challenges that cancer survivors face.

But it’s different this year …

Not in recent history has the world experienced a worldwide pandemic like COVID-19. COVID-19 is at the forefront today (as well it should be), while those of us with cancer quietly and resolutely carry on our treatments or reluctantly accept the adjustments to our treatment plans.
In many communities, there won’t be “official” ceremonies for National Cancer Survivors Day® this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on large events. But we can’t let COVID-19 distract us from shining our lights out over our communities.

When COVID-19 becomes a memory, cancer will be with us — just look at the facts.

1.8 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020.
• Breast - 279,100, 15%
• Lung and bronchus - 228,820, 13%
• Prostate - 191,930, 11%
• Colon and rectum - 147,950, 8%

Estimates point to 606,000+ people in the U.S. dying from cancer in 2020.
• Lung cancer - 135,720
• Colorectal - 53,200
• Pancreatic - 47,050
• Breast - 42,690
• Prostate - 33,330

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Cancer is second only to heart disease as the leading cause of death. Heart disease is the cause of death in about 647,000 people annually in the U.S.

If you want to know more, check out thecancer statistics in the U.S.

Survivors – how many of us are out there?

The good news is that there are 16.9 million cancer survivors in the U.S., and that number will continue to rise as newer, more effective treatments become available. Immunotherapy and targeted therapies, along with new surgical techniques and newer radiation methods, will contribute to more survivors in the coming years.

Experts predict that there will be over 21.7 million survivors in 2029.

Here are some of our astonishing facts:
• 67% (10 million) of us have survived more than 5 years since our diagnosis.
• 45% of those who have had cancer have lived 10+ years since diagnosis.
• 18% have lived 20+ years since diagnosis.
• 64% of cancer survivors are aged 65 or older.
• 23% (3.6 million) of today’s survivors are breast cancer survivors.
• 21% (3.3 million) are prostate cancer survivors.
• 9% (1.5 million) are colorectal cancer survivors.

Included in those numbers are some people who have two or more different types of cancer.

What are some of the issues that we as cancer survivors face?

One of the purposes of National Cancer Survivors Day is to help raise awareness of the challenges we, as cancer survivors, face. All of us are grateful to be alive, but many of us face lifelong challenges.
1. Health insurance costs and the coverages offered
2. Difficulty finding employment after cancer treatment
3. Loss of job during cancer treatment
4. Difficulty obtaining life insurance
5. The economic impact of lost wages, becoming disabled, forced retirement, and lost productivity because of lingering side effects
6. Ongoing costs of follow-up surveillance for 5+ years
7. Fear of recurrence

We, at, understand. We’ve been where you are, or we’re there with you now. None of us need to walk alone. The community is always here to listen and to share our experiences.

National Cancer Survivors Day2020

Check out our blog posts. On the lower right side of the page, we have an index of past blog posts organized by cancer topics, from financial support to side effects and chemotherapy. We provide helpful posts for caregivers too.

This is our day – a day that we celebrate our accomplishments and our lives as cancer survivors! Enjoy the day; you’ve earned this day with your strength, determination and will to overcome adversity.

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