National Cancer Survivors Day Date in the current year: June 2, 2024

National Cancer Survivors Day National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual observance held in a number of countries, such as the United States and Ukraine, on the first Sunday in June. It was inaugurated in November 1987 by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

The term “cancer survivor” typically refers to people diagnosed with any type of cancer who are still living. This definition was given by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) and is considered the basic one. However, different groups may disagree with some aspects of the definition (for example, there have been discussions whether people who are actively dying from cancer can be considered survivors) or reject the term survivor altogether.

People who are undergoing or have finished cancer treatment often face various physical and psychological challenges. The effects of cancer and cancer treatments (pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression, and many others) can vary from survivor to survivor and range in intensity from relatively mild to debilitating, but more often than not, they impair one’s quality of life.

Many cancer survivors have difficulty in returning to normal daily life after treatment, especially when their treatment programs have been lengthy and rigorous. Even if the cancer have been cured completely, some survivors struggle with PTSD, and many survivors whose cancer is in remission are living with fear of cancer recurrence.

Cancer can have long-lasting effects on survivors’ relationships with their loved ones; family members of cancer survivors, especially parents of children with cancer and spouses, face their own challenges and may develop mental health symptoms that can last years after their loved one’s successful treatment.

National Cancer Survivors Day was established at the conference meeting of NCCS that was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in November 1987. The first observance was held on June 5, 1998. This awareness day focuses on celebrating cancer survivors, inspiring those recently diagnosed with cancer, supporting the families of cancer patients, and raising awareness of the unique needs of cancer survivors.

Although National Cancer Survivors Day is mainly observed in the United States, its popularity has been growing in some other countries, too. For instance, Cancer Survivors Day has been officially recognized in Ukraine since December 2021, when President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a decree establishing Cancer Survivors Day in order to support initiatives to prevent the development and spread of cancer and to draw the attention of the state and society to the issues that people living with cancer are facing on a daily basis.

National Cancer Survivors Day is observed by cancer survivors and their families and friends, medical professionals, and other stakeholders. On and around the first Sunday in June, cancer societies, cancer treatment centers, and hospitals organize various events to promote cancer research, survivor-friendly legislation, access to resources, and other measures needed to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors and their families.

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National Cancer Survivors Day, awareness day, annual observance, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship