There are an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. For them, there is life after cancer, but there is never life without cancer.
When a patient completes medical treatment, care is not complete. Working through remission, managing post-treatment effects, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding recurrence are a part of the patient’s wellness plan. However, the long-term emotional impact left behind can sometimes be forgotten.
“Survivorship is all-encompassing. Finding a way to be normal again can be optimized by focusing on treating the person as a whole, looking beyond just traditional clinical treatment,” said Dr. Meredith Witten, a breast surgeon at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.
Among today’s survivors, the most common represented is women with breast cancer, accounting for nearly 3.6 million Americans. Dr. Witten is committed to presenting each of her patients with the appropriate survivorship opportunities and program offerings.
“Although the root cause may be dealt with, the completion of treatment does not equate to the patient and caregiver being free of challenges or concerns,” Dr. Witten continued. “I would even dare to say that after care for cancer, or any type of trauma for that matter, is just as important as the medical care I provide as a physician.”
Physical and mental recovery from cancer remain a lifelong aspect of living for all cancer survivors.
How you can help
The Living Well Beyond Cancer program is supported by the generosity of donors like you. The program provides education, guidance and empowers survivors to help make decisions that could maximize health, longevity and quality of life. You can make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors by making a gift today.