Cancer patients living longer

By: Marcie Kobriger Email
By: Marcie Kobriger Email

Americans are living longer with cancer, and beating it. The disease is no longer the death sentence it once was.

The National Cancer Institute reports that each year one and a half million Americans are diagnosed with cancer. Each year, more than half a million people die from it. But the institute also reports that death rates are dropping by 2% a year.

Today, almost 70% of cancer patients live five years past their diagnosis. For most patients with cancer, the focus is now on living.

Some survivors are using their life after cancer to make sure the people around them are aware that cancer is a disease that can affect anyone.

“It’s becoming fairly common place to talk about it especially something like colon cancer. I mean who would want to talk about that? But I hear it more in the workplace now,” said Terry Bensley, a colon cancer survivor.

“I try to talk to people about it -- friends, relatives, neighbors and let them know to go have a colonoscopy done,” said Ed Fuchs.

The American Cancer Society recommends that when you turn fifty you should start getting colonoscopies every five to ten years.

They say women should get mammograms every year starting at age forty.

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