More than 15 million people in the United States are living with cancer. A new survey by Pfizer found nearly 90% of patients believe managing life with cancer forced them to prioritize important things in life.
The survey looked at data from 1,009 patients living with cancer. It also found 76% of patients believe a positive outlook is essential to living with cancer despite feeling anxious (49%), fearful (49%) or overwhelmed (40%) at diagnosis. In fact, nearly 85% of the patients surveyed reported having a more positive outlook on cancer and 83% have been inspired to make positive changes in their life following their diagnosis. More than 3 in 5 stated cancer allowed them to discover the “real me.”
A majority of patients surveyed stated an all-in-one mobile tool or app would be helpful to manage the condition, stating some of the most helpful resources would be the ability to keep track of questions that come up during the day (77%) and during medical appointments (76%), keeping track of medications (71%), and being able to communicate with loved ones (71%).
Pfizer Survey Results Also Revealed:
- 84% of the patients felt negative when being first diagnosed
- More than half of the patients find it challenging to have the time to do the things they want to do
- 58% of people living with cancer who have something that inspires them say they are inspired to not let cancer define them
- 86% of people living with cancer feel that having cancer has forced them to prioritize the important things in their life
- 81% of people living with cancer say that their family and friends inspire them in their cancer journey
- 72% of people living with cancer feel cancer has led them to be inspired by the people around them
- More than half of the patients say a positive outlook is important because it may lead to positive health outcomes and it can help cope with distress and anxiety
In response, Pfizer recently launched This Is Living With Cancer™, a national awareness program that includes a mobile app for anyone with cancer called LivingWith™. It is designed to help manage some of the daily challenges faced by people living with cancer.
Some of the features of the program include:
- Ability to build a network of support from friends and family to get help with daily tasks
- Record and remember important information from doctor visits
- Track mood, pain and connect with wearables
- Get organized and store key documents
- Receive information about local events and nutrition articles
The program also includes helpful articles, resources, and stories of real people who are managing life with cancer, like Cynthia Malaran.
Cynthia is the kind of person who makes an impression the moment you meet her. Her spirit shines when she speaks about her music and other artistic projects, and she has a talent for making you feel like you’re the only person in the room.
Creativity has always been central to Cynthia’s life. As a multimedia designer, most of her work took place behind the scenes—and behind many computer screens in office cubicles. All of that changed with a diagnosis of stage II breast cancer.
After Cynthia had some vague symptoms for a few years in her 30s, a nurse detected a lump during a routine doctor’s visit. Cynthia was diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer.
Like most people, she went through myriad emotions after receiving the news. But she was relieved to finally know what was wrong, and the diagnosis also made sense given her family history of the disease. Then came the shock, the fear and, finally, the resolve.
For Cynthia, sharing her creativity with the world and connecting with others became integral to her healing. Her work became more visual, more vocal and more social. One of the first things she did after her diagnosis was design a T-shirt that read “Stronger Than Cancer.” She wore it to arm herself for the journey into treatment.
Cynthia also started sharing her daily “cancer diaries” online with family, friends and strangers. Writing was an important exercise. Sharing her experiences allowed her to work through her emotions and receive love and support from the people around her.
Her new philosophy is to put her passions, joys, fears and art into the world, and transform the challenges of life into love, hope and gratitude. Today, Cynthia channels her spirit of love and creativity into the world around her. She hosts a radio show and a podcast. She’s a professional DJ who plays for different organizations around the city. She officiates weddings, and she even finds the time to mentor young women at a music camp for girls.
Her diagnosis inspired her to play, connect and create as much as possible. She sees it as her mission to pour her energy into the world and inspire hope in as many people as she can. It’s also taught her to live in the moment, a gift that she hopes others can learn from without going through an experience like cancer.
Cancer gave Cynthia the permission to be everything she wanted to be. And while her diagnosis helped her find her voice and jump-start her life, she admits that it’s as much a struggle as it is a gift. She calls it “PTG,” short for “post-traumatic growth.”
Cynthia took the trauma of those fateful words from her doctor and used it as a catalyst to share her voice with the world around her. And because of this, she feels she’s living her fullest life.
Life with Cancer
I had the pleasure of speaking to Cynthia to share her story about her life with cancer, and discuss more details about the new Pfizer program.
For more information about the program and to find out more about LivingWith TM, visit
www. ThisIsLivingWithCancer.com. You can also Share your cancer story with on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #InspirationLives to help inspire and encourage others who are managing life with cancer.