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How many years do you have to be cancer-free to be considered a 'cancer survivor'?

Life After Cancer

Carly Schwartz (Co-Founder) gives expert video advice on: How are people emotionally changed after cancer?; Now that I've recovered from cancer, how can I help others who are going through it? and more...

How many years do you have to be cancer-free to be considered a 'cancer survivor'?

To be regarded as a cancer survivor, I've heard you have to be five years cancer free, but I've also heard as soon as you have surgery and the cancer is cut out, you're a cancer survivor. I've also heard anyone that is in treatment is a cancer survivor. I think if you have dealt with cancer you're a survivor.

Will I ever feel the same way I did before having cancer?

I hope not. I hope you'll value each day and each moment and each relationship after you've had cancer, because you really have an awareness of your own mortality and how important it is to enjoy the life you've been given and make the most out of it.

How are people emotionally changed after cancer?

I'm sure people are both positively and negatively changed emotionally after cancer. It's what you choose it to be. I would hope it would be positive, and make your life full, and full of love, and give as much as you can to make the most out of it.

What are some positive ways cancer affects people?

I think the positive ways cancer affects people is that you're very aware of your mortality and the importance of your relationships. You don't want to waste time with things that aren't important to you or people that take up your time or nonsense in your life. So I think after surviving cancer you would pare down the things that aren't of value to you.