The cancer control continuum has been in use since the 1970s to describe the various points of cancer care from cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and end-of life. As survivors became a large and growing force, survivorship was explicitly added to the continuum. Today, cancer survivorship is defined as living with, through, and beyond cancer. According to this definition, cancer survivorship begins at diagnosis and includes people who continue to have treatment over the long term, to either reduce the risk of recurrence or to manage chronic disease.
Improvements in cancer screening and treatment have helped millions of people live years beyond their cancer diagnosis.
• As of 2016, an estimated 15.5 cancer survivors now live in the U.S.
• In 2016, an estimated 1,041,750 survivors are living in Texas.
• The number of cancer survivors is expected to grow to over 20 million by 2026, due both to better care and an aging population.
These growing numbers make clear the importance of addressing physical and financial issues, psychosocial concerns of survivors and caregivers and the need to be aware of the risks of persistent and late effects.