The definition of what it means to be a cancer survivor has changed over the last 35 years, says Marleen I. Meyers, MD, director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center. Traditionally, the concept of survivorship was meant for people who had straightforward cancers, with a definable start and end to treatment. Today, she says, people with advanced cancers are considered survivors because they are living longer.
Dr. Meyers participated in the Lung Cancer Research Foundation’s recent “Together Separately” virtual discussion on how people with lung cancer can manage side effects and cope with anxiety, fear, and the social and financial challenges that may arise during and following treatment.
“If there’s one thing we know about survivorship that is definite, it’s that no two survivors are alike at all. Everyone has completely separate needs,” says Dr. Meyers, also a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “The other important thing that we try to keep in mind is that being a survivor is fraught with uncertainty, things change from day to day. It’s really an ongoing process”
Watch more from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.