GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) The first week of June is a special week for many people. It includes a special day set aside to celebrate the lives of those who have survived cancer. There are nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today. That includes anyone, child or adult, who’s been diagnosed with cancer and is living today.
Early detection and new and improved technology are helping people with cancer survive the disease. People are also taking charge with lifestyle changes. The medical community has come far with more research, targeted medications, and understanding genetics. All of these things combined mean people are living longer.
Cancer is increasingly becoming a chronic illness that can be treated and lived with, rather than a death sentence. Developing a survivorship plan is an important part to make sure cancer survivors can continue living a healthy life. The national initiative helps meet the needs of cancer survivors and can include:
- Treatment summary
- Recommended follow-up care
- When a patient should contact their doctor with symptoms
- Communication with primary care provider
- Management of long-term side effects of treatment
Cancer survivors may be referred to approrate programs like the STAR Program for Cancer Rehabilitation, dietitians, cancer genetic programs, Lymphedema program, social work, and financial counseling. Follow-up care also includes a plan to promote healthy behaviors such as exercise and good nutrition.
You can celebrate cancer survivors with Spectrum Health with Survivors Day at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion in Grand Rapids. It is Wednesday, June 3, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be refreshments, yoga, hand and chair massage, a photo booth, appearances by Rex the pet therapy dog, and featured musical guest Charlie Lustman.
Spectrum Health will also be celebrating cancer survivors at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital and Spectrum Health United Hospital.
Spectrum Health Cancer Center
at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion
145 Michigan St.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503