A crowd of people sits in a large architectural building with paneled wood walls looking ahead at a speaker on stage.

What is cancer survivorship?

The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota (MCC) exists to reduce the burden of cancer on everybody who calls Minnesota home. Our doctors, nurses, researchers, and staff collaborate to uncover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer, apply that knowledge to improve quality of life for people with a cancer diagnosis, and share what they learn with everyone in our community. 

A key area of our work at MCC revolves around something called survivorship: providing ongoing support and programs that focus on the health and wellbeing of cancer survivors. In cancer, you are a survivor from the moment you are diagnosed—through treatment, living with cancer, and remission. We recognize that life after a cancer diagnosis is a lifelong change to your health and lifestyle that also affects your loved ones. Our Cancer Survivorship Program—a collaboration between the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, and M Health Fairview—exists to help provide valuable resources and information to help you navigate the many questions that arise throughout a diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. 

The Cancer Survivorship Program takes into account all of the different ways a diagnosis can impact your life from diagnosis, during treatment, and beyond. Whether it’s physical, mental, and emotional effects, changes in your personal relationships, financial adjustments, issues related to follow-up care (like regular health and wellness checkups), late effects of treatment, cancer recurrence, second cancers, overall quality of life, or how family members, friends, and caregivers fit into a cancer journey, the Cancer Survivorship Program helps provide the education, resources, and vital community necessary for a cancer journey and includes information geared toward current patients, longtime survivors, loved ones, and other support systems. We also support continued learning for survivorship clinical and research communities. 

In the 17 years that our Survivorship Conference has been offered, there are countless ways it has touched the lives of people with cancer, their loved ones, and their caregivers. This year hundreds of guests will again join MCC and M Health Fairview at the Delta Hotel Minneapolis on Saturday, April 15, for our annual Cancer Survivorship Conference, an educational conference focused on tackling the questions and issues that survivors and their families often face after cancer treatment or following stem-cell transplantation. 

“There are now over 18 million cancer survivors in the U.S., which means that there is an increasing need to offer events like this to share information and bring people together,” said MCC Events Manager Lissa Martinez Huebner. “We are so proud to offer this Conference as a place where all survivors, their caregivers, and their loved ones can come together to learn and be part of a community of people who’ve walked a similar road.”

Stay tuned for recordings of each session, available on survivorship.umn.edu sometime in April!