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National Cancer Survivors Day

Also known as

  • NCSD


  • the first Sunday in June (since 1988)


Founded by

  • Merril Hastings on November 20th, 1987



National Cancer Day is an annual "Celebration of Life" that is held in communities around the world. It is "a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community." It honors those who have battled cancer and acknowledges the contributions of their families and friends, as well as those of healthcare providers and cancer researchers. Cancer survivors connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them on their journey.

Awareness is raised about the ongoing challenges that cancer survivors face, which helps to promote resources, research, and legislation to improve their lives. Survivors may deal with physical, emotional, and financial hardships after their diagnosis and treatment. They are at greater risk to develop other cancers and health problems. They may have limited access to cancer specialists and new treatments, encounter denial of insurance, and experience difficulty finding work.

National Cancer Survivors Day was announced by Merril Hastings at the second meeting of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship on November 20, 1987. Hastings went on to officially register the day. Today, National Cancer Survivors Day events are often hosted by towns, cities, hospitals, and support groups. Celebrations commonly include parades, carnivals, art exhibits, contests, and testimonies to honor local cancer survivors.

How to Observe National Cancer Survivors Day

Take part by attending a National Cancer Survivors Day event. Check for events being hosted by your community or hospital or by local support groups. You could also organize your own event. Information on how to do so can be found on the day's official website, as can information about registering your event and resources about cancer survivors.

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