Cancer in 2022
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) has recently released its 2022 report which examines expected cancer statistics for the new year.
- Their findings found that while cancer diagnoses in 2022 are expected to increase, deaths caused by cancer are continuing to drop. This is due to advances in research, treatment, and screening methods.
- SurvivorNet breaks down resources available to those facing a diagnosis, such as finding support, working on your mindset, and not being afraid to get a second opinion.
Between 1991 to 2019, cancer deaths dropped 32%, which points to incredible advancements in cancer research, screening methods, and treatment (immunotherapy being one of the top). Among some of the most notable screening advancements was the early detection of lung cancer, which is the most deadly form of cancer affecting Americans. Furthermore, the ACS noted that death rates among those battling prostate and breast cancer have also seen a significant decrease thanks to thorough screening methods.Read More
It’s worth noting that the number of cancer diagnoses increasing may be due to delayed screenings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an October 2020 survey from SurvivorNet, 30% of women said they delayed their mammograms in fear of COVID-19. Mammograms and other cancer screenings are the best way to detect signs of cancer early, and if these screenings are delayed, can lead to not only more diagnoses, but later stage diagnoses. However, even with a late stage diagnosis, treatment advancements have helped those battling advanced cancer still have options.
Resources For Handling a Diagnosis
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be an earth shattering experience, but it’s important that you know resources are always available to you. Whether it’s a support system, prioritizing your mental health, or getting a second opinion, you and your doctor can map out the best way to handle this diagnosis and take it on together.
Find a Support System
Whether it’s a family member, friend, or support group of fellow cancer patients, support can come in a number of different ways. Having people surround you to help you during this difficult time is often a great way to help motivate you to push through treatment, and also helps your mindset. Many cancer survivors have said that attending support groups helped them tremendously, as connecting with others who have gone through a similar experience made them feel less alone in their battle. Of course, support groups are not always for everyone, so it’s important to recognize the help you need and not be afraid to ask for it.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis can be difficult, and it can be hard to focus on anything other than treatment. However, studies have shown that a positive mindset can make a huge difference in the process, and is actually linked to successful treatment outcomes. In order to prioritize your mindset, consider taking some time during your day to do things you enjoy, no matter how big or small.
Get a Second Opinion
While navigating treatment options, it’s never too early or too late to advocate for yourself or ask questions. Sometimes, getting a second opinion can be helpful in order to learn all about your options and talk to specialists who are experts in the field. This way you can have all the information and be able to figure out what you feel most comfortable with and which one you believe is the best option for you.
“If I had any advice for you following a cancer diagnosis, it would be, first, to seek out multiple opinions as to the best care,” Dr. Steven Rosenberg, National Cancer Institute Chief of Surgery, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “Because finding a doctor who is up to the latest of information is important.”