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Cancer survivorship

Time to honor cancer survivors!

National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life held on the first Sunday in June. It recognizes cancer survivors, raises awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face because of their disease, and — most importantly — celebrates life. Learn more about the national event here.

Salem Health and Oregon Oncology Specialists honor those in our community who are living with and beyond cancer, not only on National Cancer Survivors Day, but every day. Your courage and determination is an inspiration to all.



Oregon Oncology Specialists logo


Welcome message

As we all face uncertainty and changes to everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic, we realize there are fears and worries specific to cancer survivors. There are many resources available online to provide information and support for cancer survivors and caregivers during this time.

Community events
  • American Cancer Society Relay for Life – A 24-hour event held at Chemawa Indian School in Salem. Cancer survivors are invited to attend a special welcome ceremony and lunch on July 18, 2020.
  • Play for a Cure Oregon – Annual softball tournament for breast cancer awareness where teams from across the region play to “strike out” breast cancer. This year’s event unfortunately is canceled due to COVID-19.
  • Discover Pink Walk and Fun Run – Local event on Oct. 3, 2020 that will promote women’s health, plus raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings for women in Marion and Polk counties.
  • Shine a Light on Lung Cancer – An educational and inspirational event held annually for patients and families affected by lung cancer. Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. on the Salem Hospital campus — and virtually. More details to come. 
Group of smiling women with hands together at cancer event
Discover support groups

People often find comfort when they find others that have experienced similar experiences. Support groups for cancer survivorship are essential for maintaining a positive environment for emotional healing and recovery. The Salem Health Community Health Education Center (CHEC) offers a wide array of support groups to the community.

COVID-19 has created many obstacles for conducting safe social group gatherings and most are currently canceled. However, the Gynecologic and Women’s Metastatic cancer support groups are meeting virtually.

Cancer awareness ribbons

Maintaining physical activity is important to your cancer journey

Regular exercise promotes lifelong wellness and helps combat cancer risk and recurrence. Following an exercise program during treatment can help improve your quality of life. The American Cancer Society recommends these actions for safe exercise.

To demonstrate staying active while staying safe at home, the Salem Health Cancer Institute partnered with our physical therapists to show you how to turn sitting in a chair into a healthy workout.

Always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. 

Healthy eating for cancer survivors

Your nutrition matters! A healthy eating pattern can help you feel your best. Learn more about balanced nutrition to keep your body strong during and after treatment in our recorded class, What Can I Eat?

If you have more questions after watching this video, you can sign up for a live question and answer session with our registered dietitian. To register, email: cancer.institute@salemhealth.org.

To help maximize great taste and nutrition in survivorship, a Salem Health Cancer Institute registered dietitian shows how to make three quick-and-easy and delicious plant-based dishes.

Recipes featured in video:


The spirituality of hope: Living with a cancer diagnosis

Rev. David Watson, Salem Health chaplain says:

“All life is beautifully and wondrously spiritual. While a cancer diagnosis interrupts life and living, and while living with cancer may challenge our life more than ever before, the spirituality of our life remains the same.” (Read Rev. Watson’s full message)


Spirituality in cancer care (National Cancer Institute)

Women sitting peacefully with her eyes closed
Video gallery
Breast cancer and genetics

Becky's corner

Becky Ruppert has worked as a nurse at Salem Health since 1981. She's a certified radiation oncology nurse and a certified grief counselor. Please read her messages of hope:

Headshot of Becky Ruppert with Salem Health Radiation Oncology

Survivor stories

Messages of hope

smiling woman sitting on a park bench and typing on laptop computer


Cancer survivors and caregivers are invited to share a short message of hope or thankfulness.

Your submissions will then be featured here.


“I went through surgery, radiation, and chemo (for) a rare and very aggressive form of cancer. It is a long journey. But as a community, we are here for each other – and we have our own support teams as well. Together, we can get through the everyday stress of life with cancer.” – Katherine B.
“Even though all is going well, Dr. (William) Chance and his nurse reminded me that they are there for me anytime. I felt like I was in such good hands during my chemo and radiation. Everyone on the first and fourth floors made the process as pleasant as possible.”  – Nancy B.
“I went through chemo, surgery, and radiation for breast cancer. I'm so grateful for all the incredible support I got, and to be alive and well!” – Andrea D.


Art showcase

Enjoy these works of art, crafted entirely by local cancer survivors.

  • Colorful painting of nine flowers
  • Colorful framed artwork of mixed media
  • Colorful painting of four green leaves and three small blossoms
  • Colorful painting of three flowers and two red-winged blackbirds
  • Colorful painting of three flowers