Improving Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors

Medical advances in the way cancer is diagnosed and treated have improved survival rates of many cancers, and people are living longer after diagnosis. The most recent U.S. estimate shows that for all people diagnosed with cancer (through 2007), 64 percent survived cancer more than five years compared with a 51 percent five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with cancer  through 1994.

Even after successful treatment of cancers, general and specific health issues continue for survivors. In 2004, as many as one in five Vermonters diagnosed with cancer more than one year ago reported that their general health status was only ‘fair’ or ‘poor’, as opposed to good, very good or excellent. Almost six percent of all cancer survivors in Vermont were not covered by health insurance in 2007.

Cancer survivors face numerous physical, psychological, social, spiritual and financial issues throughout treatment and for the remaining years of their lives; and could benefit tremendously from a coordinated statewide effort to support them. Emotional and psychological support are leading needs identified by cancer survivors in Vermont.

In 2010, there were over 30,000 Vermonters who had been diagnosed with cancer. The Vermont Cancer Survivor Network was created in 2006 by and for cancer survivors to improve the quality of life for Vermonters living with, through, and beyond cancer. Through a web-based forum, annual Survivor Celebration Days, and the “Kindred Connections” program, cancers survivors in Vermont can give and get critical emotional support from other cancer survivors.

For more information about the Vermont Cancer Survivor Network go to: VCSN.net.

To learn more about our current Quality of Life goals and objectives see the 2015 Vermont State Cancer Plan.


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