Some survivors may live with cancer as a chronic disease requiring periodic treatments, while others may go into long-term remission. Many will lead normal lives with few side effects, if any. In fact, two-thirds of survivors report that cancer has not had a significant long-term impact on their lives.
As many survivors have learned, however, recovery is not always the end of the cancer experience. Even several years after successful treatment, cancer recurrence is always a possibility. Toxic cancer therapies can leave you with health issues that require lifelong surveillance. Finally, recovering from the social and emotional trauma of cancer can take longer than recuperating from treatment.
After decades of focus on treating cancer, researchers now face the challenge of helping survivors achieve a decent quality of life for many years after treatment has ended.