In order to provide appropriate individual and community support for cancer survivors, there is a great need to better understand how people who have survived cancer or other serious illness adapt positively to health challenges and to identify effective approaches for helping people cope with health challenges over their lifetime. Studies have identified a number of personal factors that are associated with resilience, increased quality of life, and positive adaptation to illness. Of particular interest is the ability of individuals to survive or even thrive despite an adverse event, as influenced by both individual factors such as resiliency and external factors like social support. The experience of having a potentially life-threatening illness can lead to positive adaptation and increased ability to thrive despite difficult circumstances. The cancer survivorship movement and the cancer community in general provide important resources for improving quality of life and alleviating human suffering and distress among patients and survivors and for adding personal meaning and hope to people's lives.
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