The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the lead Federal agency for cancer research.Since Congress passed the National Cancer Act in 1971, NCI has continued tocollaborate with top researchers and medical facilities across the country to conductinnovative research leading to progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, andtreatment. These efforts have resulted in a recent decrease in the overall cancer deathrate and have helped improve and extend the lives of millions of Americans.In 1996, NCI established the Office of Cancer Survivorship in recognition of theincreasing number of people surviving cancer and their unique needs. Over the lastdecade, NCI has supported research by a growing number of doctors and scientistscommitted to understanding the needs of people with cancer. We have learned a greatdeal about the experience of cancer survivors, and we want to share our findings with you.Many cancer survivors have told us that while they felt they had lots of information andsupport during their illness, once treatment stopped they entered a whole new world—one filled with new questions. This booklet will tell you what we have learned from other survivors about life after cancer. We will share with you their reactions to recovery;practical tips for dealing with common problems faced after treatment, such as pain,fatigue, and fear that cancer will come back; and guidelines for managing your physical,social, and emotional health after cancer. When possible, we include specific informationfrom research with cancer survivors.While cancer is a major event for all who are diagnosed, it brings with it an opportunityfor growth. As difficult as treatment is, thousands of cancer survivors have told us thatthe experience led them to make important changes in their lives. From simply takingtime to appreciate each new day to learning to take better care of themselves—or learning to value how others care for them—to becoming national advocates for better cancer research, treatment, and care, they were affected in the way they felt aboutthemselves, others, and the future. We hope that this booklet will serve as a resourceand inspiration to you as you face forward to your life after cancer.
The National Cancer Institute thanks the many cancer survivors, scientists, and healthprofessionals who assisted with the development and review of this publication.This book is also available in Spanish. Este folleto también se puede obtener en español.
for cancer information.