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12 Million Cancer Survivors

Posted on 03/15/2011

It's a great day to be a cancer survivor! We're 12 million strong and counting. This is very good news, not just for survivors, but also their loved ones and everyone else.

I attribute the high number of cancer survivors with the advances in medical technology to be the greatest driving force. Technology that was once unheard of is being used on a daily basis across this country. New therapies are being added all the time. It's so promising.

As a breast cancer survivor for 11 years, I certainly know how lucky I am.  I celebrate each new day and appreciate it to the fullest extent.

I'm fortunate that I get to do what I love everyday, spend time with my family and get paid to do it. I believe my mission in life is to help people improve their eating habits. It's my calling. Nursing helped me find it, without my nursing, I doubt I'd be where I am today. I doubt there'd be a Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating.

I went through a modified radical mastectomy followed by several doses of chemotherapy and then took Tamoxifen for 5 years.  My story is like so many others afflicted by breast cancer. I, just like my sister, aunts, and cousins were all diagnosed with breast cancer -- some of us survived and others did not. I believe my family history can be tied to my particular disease, although I never went through genetic testing to confirm it.

I am not alone as a cancer survivor. According to news out last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cancer survivors in the United States is increasing by hundreds of thousands a year and now includes roughly one in 20 adults.  Staggering to think that there are so many people affected by cancer.

The CDC reports survivors climbed 19 percent in 2007 from 2001. About 5 million Americans received their cancer diagnosis at least 10 years earlier, according to the CDC report. Those with breast cancer are the largest population with 22 percent followed closely by 19 percent of survivors with prostate cancer.

There are factors such as demographics of who typically receive a cancer diagnosis -- it is most common in people 65 and older -- and with the U.S. population aging, it is expected to continue to impact cancer incidence and conversely survival rates.

The CDC said more people are also surviving cancer due to early detection and better treatments available.  Medical science is simply amazing and the advances continue to progress with each passing year. Other preventative measures like healthy eating, less smoking and other preventative measures may also be helping play a key role in the increase of survivors.

Preventative actions can be simple or more complex for some to adopt, but are necessary to prevent disease, such as cancer and other serious, life-threatening diseases. A great percentage of cancers can be directly related to preventative measures, such as diet, lifestyle (smoking) and activity.

So, let's join together to try to help prevent the disease in the first place. If you are afflicted by it regardless of your healthy lifestyle, then make sure to take advantage of every resource available to combat the disease. There's never really been a better time to be able to fight cancer, since we have so many tools to help us.

I feel so fortunate my cancer was removed and I've been living cancer-free and as a breast cancer survivor for 11 years now. God bless! And God bless to all of you millions who are surviving just like me.

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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