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June 1 is National Cancer Survivors Day

Sunday marks the 27th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, a day when thousands of people in hundreds of communities across the U.S. and abroad will hold celebrations to honor cancer survivors and celebrate life.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are 28 million cancer survivors in the world. Of those, 50 percent live in the U.S., which has only 5 percent of the world’s population. These figures do not include carcinoma in situ (non-invasive cancer) of any site except uri­nary bladder, and does not include basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers.

The three most common cancers among male survivors in the U.S. are prostate (43 percent), colon and rec­tum (9 percent), and melanoma (7 percent). Among female survivors in the U.S., the most common cancers are breast (41 percent), uterine (8 percent), and colon and rectum (8 percent).

The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation provides free guidance, education and support to hundreds of hospitals, support groups and other cancer-related organizations that host National Cancer Survivors Day events in their communities. The NCSD website, ncsd.org, has everything needed to plan a successful NCSD celebration.

In honor of National Cancer Survivors Day, a special page has been created on the American Cancer Society’s national web site, cancer.org, that compiles a wide variety of information survivors would find interesting. In addition, a news story has been posted on cancer.org about the need for doctors to equip survivors with clear follow-up plans. Beginning next year, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer will require a written survivorship care plan for patients when cancer treatment ends to give survivors greater control over their care, improve the quality of the care they receive and increase the likelihood they’ll follow doctors’ orders.