It is a privilege to welcome you to the 35th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day. It is a day of joy, hope, and celebration for everyone touched by cancer. We here at NCI know the strength and perseverance it takes to go through the cancer journey, and we honor you, and the caregivers who share this journey with you. Today, as the world emerges from the pandemic, we look forward to returning our full focus on advancing cancer research.
We estimate that there are nearly 17 million cancer survivors in the United States, and that number is expected to continue to grow. This is a testament to the many scientists and clinicians who have dedicated years of research to uncovering new approaches to cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatments such as immunotherapies and targeted therapies.
However, there’s always more to do. As more people survive their cancer, for longer, we’re learning more and more about the physical, emotional, and financial struggles that people with a history of cancer endure, along with the uncertainties that living with cancer brings. NCI will continue to develop interventions that address the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment, in order to improve the well-being and quality of life of cancer survivors and their loved ones.
While cancer is likely to continue to exist for the foreseeable future, it is NCI’s goal to end cancer as we know it – to transform the meaning of a cancer diagnosis, and minimize its toll on individuals, families, and communities. But we can’t do it without you. Your continued participation in clinical trials, advocacy, research, and raising awareness is vital to our success. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do. With your support, we can reduce the burden of cancer for all.
Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.
Acting Director, National Cancer Institute