While some statistics about cancer are disheartening, there is always hope. In the last 30 years survival rates have steadily climbed for many types of cancers. For most cancer types there’s around a 70% likelihood that a person diagnosed will live beyond 5 years. Have a look at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for accurate graphs http://www.aihw.gov.au/cancer/.
What does it mean to be a cancer survivor? For starters, not everyone who has been through a cancer experience will relate to their history in the same way. Some people appear to carry on their life much as they did before cancer, while others will make some obvious changes. For some people cancer leaves lasting effects, and may increase risk of other health issues. There may be an ongoing fear of recurrence, anxiety, or sometimes depression.
Along with all the ups and downs of the cancer experience, many people do report feeling remarkably well. Regardless of the outcome of the disease, it is possible to live well, and potentially thrive during and after a cancer diagnosis. Finding small but significant ways to enjoy life can be as simple as practicing gratitude, savouring the small pleasures, and embracing your strengths.