This post is part of our SWOG Stories series, a collection of diverse perspectives from doctors, recruiters, members, patient advocates, and others across the Group. You can listen to all of these wonderful conversations here.
“Survivorship research, back when I started, didn’t exist really.”
– Kathy Albain, MD
In this conversation captured by StoryCorps, patient advocate Anna Gottlieb interviews Dr. Kathy Albain about her career in cancer research and how she finds herself involved in SWOG Cancer Research Network’s survivorship studies three decades later.
Tracking the changes that have taken place in oncology since she first began as a junior researcher, Dr. Albain explains how the concept of survivorship — and advocacy for cancer survivors — has evolved over the years. While the status once applied only to those who had completed active treatment, it now encompases a wider range of individuals, including those who have survived numerous treatments but are not currently cancer free. This has added millions to a worldwide community of survivors.
According to NCI statistics, there are over 15 million Americans living after a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. And that number is expected to expand to over 20 million by 2026 and 26.1 million by 2040.
SWOG maintains its own committee dedicated to survivorship. Support this important work by giving a gift today that can make a long-term difference for the lives of many.