Cancer treatment bell ringing is a celebration!  Arizona Center for Cancer Care loves it when patients ring the bell.

Many cancer patients ring the bell after chemotherapy treatment.

Cancer Treatment Bell Ringing

It was initially call the Chemo Bell.   The bell signals the end of chemotherapy treatment.  It is also a warm tradition among cancer patients completing radiation treatments.

Patients ring bells in hospitals around the world to mark the end of their treatments.

Donna recalled, while receiving her own treatment, hearing patients enthusiastically ringing the bell and feeling happy because they met their goal. She rang the bell herself after finishing her last chemo treatment for colon cancer.

“That’s sort of the core of the bell, this feeling that you’ve accomplished something. You went through this—whether it’s six or eight or 10 courses of chemo—and you made it!”

Donna spent 25 years as a nurse before undergoing her own cancer journey. She died on September 28, 2016 at the age of 77 and is remembered.  Her legacy lives on to this day through the bell.

What The Bell Means to Patients

For patients who feel the bell is an important milestone and celebratory moment in their cancer journeys, staff are happy to gather together with the patient’s family and friends to celebrate and applaud the ringing of the bell.

Many doctors agree that it is pure joy for patients, their families and staff. There are hugs and smiles and tears; we never get tired of those moments. says Shelly Hanifan, Nurse Manager, systemic therapy.

“To me, the bell  means that you’re beating cancer,” says Bonnie Baskeins who underwent chemotherapy to treat multiple myeloma. “For me, ringing the bell means I’ve won one round of the fight and hopefully that’s the only round I have to do and stay in remission.”

Kelly Brooks didn’t ring the bell, but her sister did after receiving chemotherapy to treat breast cancer.

“The bell  [is] a symbol of hope for everybody on the day that you ring that bell,” says Baskeins. “If you have that opportunity, ring that bell loud for everybody that has supported you. And for every other person who has to follow in your footsteps in that journey.