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Who's a cancer survivor?

Slate, October 6, 2010

Survivor seems a strange term for a patient like me, said by her oncologist to be in remission—meaning that there's no overt evidence of persistent cancer cells in the body. The National Cancer Institute defines a "cancer survivor" as someone who's had a malignant tumor and remains alive. This holds whether you're thriving after a single intervention, like surgical excision of a small tumor, or struggling for years with metastatic illness. The American Cancer Society reports that nearly 12 million Americans are living today after a cancer diagnosis; each of us is a "survivor."

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