The New Age of Cancer Survivorship


Survivorship, when talking about cancer, is defined not just by the end of treatment, but by the entire journey that follows initial diagnosis.

Image of a doctor with a survivor.

Survivorship, when talking about cancer, is defined not just by the end of treatment, but by the entire journey that follows initial diagnosis. Today, the number of cancer survivors is higher than ever, showcasing the profound impact of modern medical advancements. With this growing number of cancer survivors comes a heightened awareness of their unique needs and the imperative to provide comprehensive survivorship care – not only to survivors themselves, but also to their families, friends, and support networks, all of whom are deeply affected by the disease.

Lymphoma holds a special place in the study of cancer survivorship. Many foundational discoveries in survivorship research have stemmed from work with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), particularly regarding chemotherapy treatments. The improvement in diagnostic tools and treatments has significantly boosted survival rates, so much so that the five-year survival rate for this type of lymphoma is over 80%. Even still, a notable subset of cancer survivors are those who may never fully transition to a post-treatment phase, living instead with cancer as a chronic condition and undergoing treatment throughout their lives.

Many survivors require ongoing health monitoring and changes to their daily routine — changes that can last a lifetime. It is not uncommon for survivors to continue experiencing side effects, with some emerging long after the conclusion of therapy. This reality means that while a survivor might be technically free from the disease, they are not necessarily free from its effects. Additionally, financial toxicity remains a significant concern, as long-term care often imposes substantial economic burdens that follow survivors over time.

Continued survivorship research is essential, and researchers today are tirelessly working to enhance treatment options to minimize long-term side effects for survivors. Beyond treatment improvements, there is a concerted effort to better understand the full spectrum of the patient experience, addressing the multifaceted challenges that persist despite advancements in therapy and supportive care.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation is at the forefront of supporting this new demographic of cancer survivors. The Foundation’s mission is to realize the promise of science to eradicate lymphoma and serve the community touched by this disease.

The Foundation works tirelessly to help patients, survivors, caregivers and families understand their diagnosis and ensure that they have access to the support and resources they need. Our Helpline offers one-to-one peer support through the Lymphoma Support Network, connecting patients and caregivers with experienced volunteers for emotional support and encouragement, regardless of diagnosis stage. Additionally, the Foundation supports the Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Act by advocating for policies that improve survivorship care. This includes promoting access to necessary medical and psychosocial services for cancer survivors, ensuring coordinated and continuous care, and addressing the unique challenges faced by cancer survivors to enhance their quality of life.

For more detailed information, visit the Lymphoma Research Foundation Support services page, as well as this survivorship fact sheet.

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