Cancer Survivors: A Growing Population with Evolving Needs

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The number of cancer survivors continues to grow, and is expected to exceed 22.1 million in the United States by 2030, according to a newly published report. As that group expands and includes more people living longer after cancer, we need to expand our way of thinking about survivors’ needs.

Changing Survivorship Concerns
Of today’s cancer survivors, 68% have passed the often-cited mark of five-year survival after diagnosis. In fact, nearly half are more than 10 years out from diagnosis. Cancer survivors can face a variety of additional health issues that vary with the type of cancer and its treatment, age, and health problems that existed or were emerging before cancer diagnosis. The good news is that these challenges are becoming more widely recognized, with whole new branches of oncology care aimed at addressing them.

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Mixed Messaging on Red Wine: Separating Myth from Fact

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Many choices you make to lower the risk of cancer pack an extra health-protective punch because they also lower the risk of heart disease. But trying to make a smart choice about alcohol can be confusing.
Alcohol — especially wine — has an image as a heart-healthy choice, and fewer than 4 in 10 people are aware that alcohol poses a cancer risk. But it does, and the link should be of special concern to women since increased breast cancer risk starts at relatively low amounts of alcohol.

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Go Pink AND Red

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As Breast Cancer Awareness month draws to a close, must we put away the pink ribbons as we start preparing our red ribbons to “Go Red” for heart health? Or what would it look like to “Go Pink AND Red” all year long? I touched on this while addressing fellow registered dietitian nutritionists at our premier national educational conference. I presented on translating the AICR recommendations for reducing cancer risk in the context of overall health. I am passionately committed to sharing the message that a healthful lifestyle will mean reducing risk of cancer AND risk of heart disease, so I was both thrilled and honored at this opportunity.
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