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Almost 12 Million Cancer Survivors Living in U.S., Report Shows
Date:3/10/2011

han a decade, attributed his survival to the chemotherapy, surgery and radiation he underwent. "It's most of all being lucky," he said.

In addition, after treatment he modified his lifestyle by stopping drinking and other unhealthy habits.

"Having cancer has changed my life to the better," Frazzitta said. "It's helped me to appreciate life. To stop and smell the roses."

"There is now a growing number of people who have faced a cancer diagnosis which affects them and their loved ones from the time of diagnosis through the rest of their lives," Julia H. Rowland, director of NCI's Office of Cancer Survivorship, said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, for many cancer survivors and those around them, the effect of cancer does not end with the last treatment. Research has allowed us to scratch the surface of understanding the unique risks, issues and concerns of this population. This report underscores the need for continued research, as well as for the development and implementation of best practices to provide optimal care and support for all cancer survivors," she added.

Dr. Peter Kozuch, a medical oncologist at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, noted that more people are surviving cancer because more people are living longer. "This is, unfortunately, one of the unintended rewards of living to a ripe old age, the increased chance of cancer," he said.

"Lastly, more effective therapies -- be it surgery, radiation or chemotherapy -- allow people to be cured of cancer or live with cancer longer," he added.

Kozuch noted that screening for breast cancer and colon cancer has resulted in earlier diagnosis and treatment, which leads to better survival.

However, there are some cancers that remain hard to detect early and treat effectively, Kozuch said.

For example, "when it comes to pancreatic cancer and brain cancer, not only are we at the earliest stages of determining at-risk individuals, but we are still very mu
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