What Does Survivorship Mean?

One out of two men and one out of three women are expected to be diagnosed with cancer sometime in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.   Survivorship starts at the moment cancer is diagnosed. 

If you are a cancer survivor, whether you are currently in treatment or completed your treatment long ago, you are far from alone. The estimated number of cancer survivors in the United States is currently 13.7 million and will continue to grow as our population gets older. By 2022, it is anticipated there will be 18 million cancer survivors, which is very good news.Today there are over 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Thanks to early detection and new treatments, many cancers can be cured or managed and many more patients are living longer than in the past. For many cancer survivors, cancer will not be the major health problem in their lifetime. Physicians today are learning to make sure that as a cancer survivor you live as long as you can with a good quality of life.  This means that as the years go by, the focus of your care will change from cancer-centric to the issues of aging.Lifestyle modifications such as diet, exercise, reduced alcohol consumption and cessation of smoking, have been associated with lower recurrence rates and a better quality of life.

Follow the American Cancer Society Guidelines for Early Detection of Breast Cancer:

  • Have a yearly mammogram starting at age 40.
  • Women in your 20s and 30’s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) every three years.
  • Women in your 40s and over should a clinical breast exam (CBE) every year.
  • Know how your breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to your health care provider.
  • Starting in your 20s, breast self-exam (BSE) is an option.

Survivorship programs are being developed at Baptist Health Breast Center and throughout the cancer community as patients beat their diseases.  Your physician will take care of your medical needs, but it is up to you to do what you can to eat healthy foods, avoid excess alcohol, maintain your weight, exercise and not smoke.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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