National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community.
Wherever you are on your journey to fighting cancer, this day is for you and your loved ones.
Statistics show that more people are surviving cancer than ever before which is very positive however, it’s just as important that we understand the challenges beyond treatment. Everybody’s experience with cancer is different, however, a cancer survivor’s fear of recurrence is the same for every individual. People often experience ongoing side effects after their treatment, even if the treatment was
These side-effects can be physical for example; scars, pain, numbness, fatigue, and headaches to name a few. There can also be mental challenges like increased anxiety, relationship problems, insecurity issues from scars or hair loss, depression and in some cases, survivors’ guilt.
Although the cancer survivor may have had the ‘all-clear’, their ongoing battle with the after-effects of cancer can last for years and it’s important not to neglect these symptoms.
Listen to the survivor, not everybody wants to talk about their cancer experience but it’s only natural that you want to help your loved one and understand what they have gone through. Don’t compare their story with another cancer story, just listen to what they want to talk about and let them lead.
National Cancer Survivors Day is also a day of inspiration and hope for people battling cancer. Local and National charities such as Macmillan, The Primrose Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer West and The Chestnut Appeal have sponsored this article, all offering quality cancer support and advice when you need
Speaking on Cancer Survivor’s Day, Miranda Benney, Macmillan Information Centre Manager, The Mustard Tree, Plymouth, shared, “Cancer can be an isolating illness, but it doesn’t need to be. The team at The Mustard Tree is here to support you and your loved ones – from our volunteers to support specialists who are here to listen to your concerns.”
“The Mustard Tree provides a place for people affected by cancer to come for information and support. It is open for pre-booked appointments with Counsellors, Complementary Therapists, Support Worker, and Benefits advisor, so anyone who is affected by cancer (including family members and carers) are welcome to call and arrange an appointment to have a confidential chat with one of our team members.”
Di Charlton, Engagement Lead, added, “At Macmillan, we know people affected by cancer are best placed to support others by sharing their experiences and in turn receiving support themselves. We offer small local support grants for projects to assist individuals or groups in setting up support groups or initiatives. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch via the SW engagement inbox: EngagementSouthWest@macmillan.org.uk.”
The Primrose Foundation is your only local breast care charity that supports the care of local people suffering from breast diseases, including cancer. Based at the Primrose Breast Care Centre at University Hospitals Plymouth, our catchment includes Plymouth, West Devon, and East Cornwall.
The Foundation grew from an original appeal that was set up to shape the future of breast care services. The objective was to fund a ‘One Stop Clinic’ where a day assessment is carried out to find out if further investigations are needed. The appeal was a huge success and the Primrose Breast care centre opened in 2001.
Local support has continued to enable us to fund further essential equipment, research, and education for over 26 years. We work with the whole of the Breast care team at University Hospitals Plymouth and our dedicated volunteers to make our patient’s experience as comfortable as possible.
Our aim has always simply been to provide the best possible range of care and support when it is needed most.
“The Chestnut Appeal was founded in 1999 at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and has since gone on to be at the forefront of prostate cancer care right across the region.
We support the very latest in treatments and technology that wouldn’t be available without community fundraising and we rely on donations from the public.
Over the years we’ve realised that Men’s Health suffers from an imbalance and at the core of our work is highlighting this most common cancer in men, as well as Prostate Cancer, we also raise awareness of Testicular Cancer and Penile Cancer, two other quite treatable cancers that sadly if left can be devastating. We believe it is vital to get more men talking about their health and taking action when they feel like something could be wrong, and a lot of our time is spent out in the community giving free talks and seminars about these three cancers. We also run a local support group.”
Cancer Research UK is the worlds leading independent cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research, influence and information.
In 2021, Cancer Research celebrated 20 years of Cancer Research UK, a huge milestone. Cancer Research UK is dedicated to supporting the research to beat all types of cancer.
Take on a challenge and have fun, all while raise vital funds for cancer research. We have events across the UK to suit everyone, including cycling, jogging, hiking and more.
Your donations support research that saves lives. Thanks to research, cancer survival is improving and has doubled over the past 40 years in the UK.
To donate or learn more about the charity and how to fundraise, head to:
“Bowel Cancer West (BCW) is a charity working tirelessly to ensure the survival rates of people in the South West of England diagnosed with the condition are the highest in the country.
Whether you become a part of our dedicated team or support us financially, you can make a difference, helping us to uphold our commitment to raise awareness of the symptoms, undertake dedicated research, and facilitate long-term training.
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. Our work is essential to make sure there is early detection for those unfortunate enough to be diagnosed, and your support will help us achieve our goals.
We would love you to get involved with what we do, so please get in touch.”
Although cancer is something that we would like to put to the back of our minds, it’s also something that will affect at least one person who we love. It’s nice to know that we have these brilliant local and national organisations and charities helping to raise funds, awareness and develop the science towards fighting cancer for good.