National Cancer Thriver Day is celebrated every second Sunday of June. This year, it takes place on June 11. Surviving cancer is a huge win in itself. But after beating cancer, people don’t just survive — they thrive! Although cancer can have a massive impact on people’s lives and disrupt various aspects, many patients bounce back through sheer will and determination. The day also celebrates and supports those thriving despite having the disease.
History of National Cancer Thriver Day
The day was founded by Connect4Cancer, a nonprofit cancer advocacy group in Los Angeles. The organization aims not just to support those surviving cancer but also to push them to thrive! For nine years, Connect4Cancer has been helping people with cancer and their families in the U.S., where there are currently 22 million cancer survivors. June is celebrated as National Cancer Survivor Month, and the first Sunday of the month is National Cancer Survivors Day. So, it only makes sense to celebrate the second Sunday of June as National Cancer Thriver Day.
The earliest evidence of cancer was found in fossilized bone tumors in human mummies from Ancient Egypt, with references to them also found in ancient manuscripts. Along with this, bony skull destruction, seen in cancer of the head and neck, has been found too.
Even though the term cancer was not used, the oldest description of the disease comes from Egypt and dates back to around 3000 B.C. The disease was first called cancer by the Greek physician Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” who lived from 460 B.C. to 370 B.C. He used the terms ‘carcinos’ and ‘carcinoma’ to describe non-ulcer forming and ulcer-forming tumors.
It was during the start of the 1400s that scientists developed a greater understanding of the workings of the human body and its disease processes. Rudolf Virchow, also called the founder of cellular pathology, found the basis for pathologic study of cancers under microscopes and correlated microscopic pathology to illness.
National Cancer Thriver Day timeline
The oldest description of cancer is recorded in ancient Egypt, and evidence is preserved in mummies.
Scottish surgeon John Hunter infers that surgery may cure certain cancers.
German pathologist Johannes Muller proves that cancer comes from cells rather than lymph.
The community-based voluntary health organization is founded in Los Angeles, U.S.
National Cancer Thriver Day FAQs
How do you honor someone who has battled cancer?
Pick an adventure and join them in their favorite activity. Head to a water park, go mountain climbing, or take a trip to the beach or hills. You could even do something as simple as going out for a nice meal. You can also participate in a cancer walk or run and consider donating to or joining volunteer organizations that help people win the fight against cancer.
What is remission in cancer?
Remission means that the signs and symptoms of cancer have been reduced, either completely or partially.
How can cancer patients thrive with cancer?
Exercise regularly, spend time outside, engage in social activities, get plenty of sleep, and eat well. You can also join a support group to spend time with people who have experienced what you are going through right now.
How to Observe National Cancer Thriver Day
Show your love and support to anyone currently dealing with the disease. Knowing their loved ones are there for them can help uplift their mood. Even a short phone call will help.
Understand the disease
Learn more about what causes different types of cancer, what the treatments are, and whether there’s anything you can do to prevent it from happening. Our knowledge of the disease and the workings of the human body have advanced a lot. Consider reading books like “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” and “The Gene: An Intimate History.”
Share information about the disease and the various screening tests available with your friends and family. Together, go in for routine tests, like breast MRIs, colonoscopies, pap smears, multi-cancer early detection tests, prostate cancer tests, skin exams, lung cancer screening, etc.
5 Facts About Cancer You Didn’t Know
Some of them are preventable
About one-third of common cancers may be prevented.
It’s responsible for many deaths
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide.
It affects people unequally
70% of deaths from cancer happen in low-to-middle income countries.
It was thought to be contagious
Dutch doctors Zacutus Lusitani and Nicholas Tulp, who lived during the 1500s to 1600s, determined cancer to be contagious.
A trauma response?
Until the 1920s, cancer was believed to be caused by trauma.
Why National Cancer Thriver Day is Important
Cancer has been around for a while
Evidence of cancer can be traced back to 3000 B.C., meaning people could have struggled with the disease for as long as recorded human history has been around. Advancements in science and technology have helped us better understand the disease’s causes and cures.
It can take a toll on patients
Being told they have cancer can take a considerable toll on patients and their family members. Knowing that support is out there and that people can thrive even during these challenging times can help put some fears to rest.
It raises awareness
Many types of cancers can be prevented through timely screening tests — something many of us keep putting off. The day encourages people to go out and make better health choices.
National Cancer Thriver Day dates