Today, more people who have been diagnosed with cancer are able to live with the disease than ever before. During this time of rapid progress in cancer treatment, researchers are only just beginning to understand the long-term impacts of the disease on individuals and their loved ones. As the number of cancer survivors in the United States (U.S.) grows to nearly 17 million this year, it is increasingly important to recognize and address the current realities of cancer survivorship. Brown, who lost his uncle to cancer, is speaking with people around the country who have been impacted by the disease to find out what it’s like to live with cancer today.
“When my uncle, Sonny, passed away from cancer just six months after his diagnosis, my entire family was devastated. Now, 15 years later, many people with cancer are living longer,” said Brown. “While that means they might have a chance to celebrate another birthday or watch their children have children, it also means their lives have likely been forever changed. Survivorship Today will bring these experiences to light to show the long-term effects of cancer, with the goal of helping people feel supported every step of their journey.”
Through the stories of people affected by cancer, the series will delve into topics such as:
- Overcoming barriers: Some people who are diagnosed with cancer face a greater burden of the disease due to their unique circumstances, whether at home, at work or in their communities, which can affect them from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.
- Impact on emotional and mental health: A person diagnosed with cancer is twice as likely to experience mental health problems compared to a person without the disease. These impacts can be even greater for individuals diagnosed as a young adult and can persist long after treatment ends.
- Relationships afterward: Cancer touches all those who care about the person living with the disease. It deeply affects friends and family on emotional and physical levels as they do their best to support their loved one over time.
“Living long-term with cancer is a relatively new idea. We’ve made tremendous progress in addressing the disease itself, but we still need to answer the question of what comes next, outside of treatment,” said Adam Lenkowsky, Head of U.S. Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “By bringing cancer survivorship into greater focus with this series, our goal is to help start a dialogue on the realities of living with cancer, so we can work together toward a day when all people with cancer can live longer, healthier lives and get the support they need.”