What is a cancer survivor? This somewhat self-explanatory question is one of the most asked questions online, and deserves a full and frank answer: a cancer survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with any form of cancer, and is either currently living or having previously lived with the disease.
These number almost 12 million US citizens, which is one in 28 people. That means that in your class at school, somebody will be a survivor of cancer. In almost every workplace, social club, sports team and church congregation, somebody has succumbed to this terrible disease.
What most survivors of cancer share and which isn’t so prevalent in someone who isn’t a survivor of cancer, is a real motivation to change their lives in a positive manner. Survivors of cancer will often achieve amazing things that they would have otherwise thought above and beyond their previous abilities due to battling life threatening situation.
The definition of survivor of cancer was coined by the National Coalition of Cancer Survivors as a means of describing someone living in the period after diagnosis. They may be referred to as a survivor of cancer for the balance of their life thereafter. Expanded definitions can include someone who:
- Has managed their condition and currently has no apparent disease evident
- Is currently living with cancer, being treated for the disease and hasn’t been diagnosed as terminally ill
- Was diagnosed with cancer in the past and has been given a clear diagnosis since
The term cancer survivor has attracted some controversy over the years as it excludes those suffering from terminal cancer, by definition. Alternatives that have been used are alivers and cancer thrivers. “Survivors” has been deemed too optimistic a phrase for those who are battling the disease and is often panned by cancer sufferers and non-sufferers alike.
Estimated Number of US Male Survivors
(Invasive and 1st Primary cases, totalling 4.5 million)
Living with Cancer: Mentally and Physically
While recovering from cancer is a difficult time for patient’s families, it is the patients themselves that require a wealth of care and support. A cancer victim undergoes mental and physical trauma as a result of dealing with not only the notion that they are facing a terminal disease, but also they are often undergoing chemotherapy or invasive surgery which places them in severe discomfort.
Patients once diagnosed need household support and nursing just to get through their day and they disconnect from their usual routines of daily life. Once this is restored it is a common psychosocial issue that they come to depend on this attention and cannot revert easily to normal life as it was. This is often compounded by a sense of neglect and emptiness which is very difficult to restore.
Post traumatic stress in higher in survivors of cancer as a result of their suffering as compared to non-cancer patients. This can manifest itself as a major depressive disorder or adjustment disorders as they try to get back on their feet. In addition to their troubles, they can often find it difficult to obtain affordale insurance for survivors and this adds to their mental stress.
In some cases, the fact that a patient’s cancer may never be fully cured puts great strain upon a person. In these instances, any minor complaint can be construed as a recurrence of the disease and can be very worrying indeed.
As far as the physical effects are concerned, a common complaint is cancer related fatigue which comes as a direct result of the stresses caused by the disease and its treatment. Often people need extensive rehabilitation in order to make a satisfactory recovery, with some experiencing mobility problems and muscle weakness where surgery has been involved. Another common complaint is chemo-brain whereby chemotherapy causes severe cognitive impairment.
Survivor care plans have been introduced in order to carefully monitor each survivor of cancer individually by noting possible side effects to look for in the future, ensuring their weight is at a healthy level and scheduling tests. Other care includes regular screenings, medical monitoring and measures to ensure they don’t receive too much radiation during treatments. The toll taken by cancer is considerable, with childhood cases expected to live up to 30% less than someone who hasn’t had the disease.
Estimated Number of US Female Survivors
(Invasive and 1st Primary cases, totalling 5.6 million)
Insurance that is Guaranteed
Plans are available for survivors, although many of these plans do not provide fully comprehensive coverage for the individual. It is beneficial to choose a insurance policy for the survivor that will provide as many health care facilities as possible, such as lab tests, doctor care, hospital and medical equipment, and prescription drugs.
Careful cost-benefit analysis of insurance for survivors has become a necessity. The client must know which services are offered in such health insurance plans and fully realize the cost of such a policy, and the means of receiving their benefits.
Many survivors fall into the trap laid by unscrupulous merchants. The need for comprehensive health insurance may cause them to search for just about any sort of coverage available to them. These policies might be MSA policies that are high deductible or cancer-only insurance.
Such inadequate policies are usually not good for survivors. There is a wealth of information within this site’s pages with regards to finding the best policy for sufferers of any pre-existing condition.
The Legalities of Cancer Survivorship
A cancer survivor has rights under the Federal and State law which legally protect the insured after he or she has become a policy holder. But these protections are only after one has been accepted by the insurance company.
Federal laws do not guarantee that those who have not been accepted by an insurer before the cancer was contracted that they receive a health insurance policy. We are here to help you.
We welcome applications for survivor of cancer insurance for those wishing to enroll in our guaranteed-issue-health-insurance. Our insurance is real that offers PPO network re pricing which provides survivors with big savings. We make promises that are kept.
Please visit our Pre-existing Conditions page for details of our real guaranteed plan that provides benefits to survivors of cancer.