What is a Previvor?
A previvor is a survivor of a predisposition to cancer. The term specifically applies to the portion of our community that has its own needs and concerns separate from the general population, and different from those already diagnosed with cancer. Previvor was coined in 2000 after a challenge from a community member who said she “needed a label.”
In 2007, Time magazine declared the term #3 on their list of top 10 buzzwords of the year. Ten years after we created the term, Congress passed a resolution declaring September 29, 2010, Previvor Day, recognizing the unique challenges faced by women and men at high risk for cancer.
FORCE invites the community to support our Cancer Previvor Campaign.
- Download, print, and share our previvor poster
- Use this term to describe the at-risk population.
- Tell your cancer previvor friends and relatives about FORCE.
- Tell your medical team about FORCE .
- Refer the media to FORCE to improve coverage of our campaign and raise awareness of the unique needs of the previvor community.
Read All About It
Read more about the term, its meaning, and how and why FORCE led related awareness efforts that began as a posting on our message board, and grew to a powerful movement by an important group of stakeholders.
Thoughts from FORCE blog - the origins of the word and its meaning today from Sue Friedman, Executive Director.
Start conversations and educate with Previvor® pins and tees.
Silver tone Previvor pin available via the FORCE shop.
Previvor tees in multiple styles and colors via our Spreadshirt shop.
PREVIVOR® is a registered trademark of FORCE.
Thoughts from our Members
"I need a label" was posted by FORCE member Cathy. Read a message from Cathy with an update on where she is today and her thoughts on Previvor Day.
This thoughtful comment was posted by Margaret Snow in a thread in our message boards on Previvor Day. The post addressed those who wondered why Previvor's needed a day.
On October 6, 2000 I posted “I need a label!” on the FORCE message boards.
I use the term previvor all the time. Mostly when talking about breast cancer, or BRCA or HBOC, because it is a lot shorter and much less nausea invoking than "85% chance of breast cancer and 40% chance of ovarian cancer." And a lot easier than "I used to have an incredibly high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, now my risk is the same as average after major surgeries." But it is October, and my family and partner want to honor my struggles along with the survivors. And in my life cancer, and BRCA and HBOC come up every week somewhere. I need a tee shirt. I have a button. It is not meant to be exclusionary. It is meant to be descriptive. Some day the term will be on book jackets to explain characters. In the vernacular - As impatient as a previvor looking for a mate, As anxious as a previvor waiting for test results. As proud as a previvor in October.
It may still not be that well known but it says a lot in a few words. Points to argue about could be who counts as a previvor? Those with BRCA mutations,those with HBOC, those doing surveillance, those who have had surgeries? I tend to be inclusive about it.
It is not like we are requesting special parking spots. We are requesting a day a year, along with grandparents, sweethearts and bosses, and you don't even have to buy a card. We are asking for help in saving people's lives by educating people about a condition that 1 in 400 people have that there are very specific things that can be done to avoid disease and death.
Yes, it is hard to understand, but that is what the whole education campaign is about. It is true that everyone has mutations and risks of diseases, but most people don't know what they are, and most do not have to worry about it in their 30's and 40s while establishing families and carreers. Most do not have to make hard decisions about major surgeries in their 30's and forties and most do not have so much cancer hanging over our heads.
This week I have to have a list to remember who to pray for. I think we deserve a moniker.
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