"Survivor" can have different meanings when applied to people with cancer.
- Some people use the word to refer to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer. For example, someone living with cancer may be considered a survivor.
- Some people use the term to refer to someone who has completed cancer treatment.
- Others call a person a survivor if he or she has lived several years past a cancer diagnosis.
The American Cancer Society believes that each person has the right to define his or her own experience with cancer and considers a cancer survivor to be anyone who describes himself or herself this way, from diagnosis throughout the rest of his or her life.