Posted in: Cancer by Dr. Tarang Krishna
The interpretation of cancer survivor is contrasting to different people, and moving from patient to survivor is dissimilar for everyone. Some may see themselves as a survivor as soon as they are diagnosed with cancer, other see themselves as a survivor when treatment stops or when they become free from cancer. Here are some tips for living a healthy life after cancer:
- Stay physically active: The best cancer doctors in India recommends that exercise is generally safe during the cancer treatment impacting many aspects of health such as muscle strength, fatigue, and depression. It is linked to living longer and a reduced risk of cancer returning amongst people living with breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer. Regular physical activity reduces anxiety and fatigue, maintains a healthy weight, boost muscle strength and endurance.
- Quit alcohol and smoking: Alcohol and smoking is a complex issue, even for the healthy people. Modern consumption of alcohol can be heart healthy but can increase the risk of cancer later. As far as smoking is concerned, QUIT. There is no safe level for tobacco use. If you don’t drink, don’t feel the need to start. If you do, keep it to moderate levels.
- Eat a healthy diet: Cancer survivors can build back strength after treatment by eating a diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed, low fat foods. In addition to this, it also reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. The oncologist propose to eat plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid highly processed foods and red meats as much as possible. People who have survived cancer often take dietary supplements such as vitamins to optimise their health. However, remember the general rule is that the dietary supplements should never replace the whole foods, which are the best source of vitamins and minerals.
- Stay attached with friends, family and other survivors: Being open and dealing with your emotions helps many people feel less worried. There is genuine power in staying connected with friends, family and other cancer survivors. Building on a social network can majorly improve the quality of life - and possibly even prognosis - in cancer survivors. Even the ones with great support from family and friends, cancer may seem devastating so it might take some efforts to keep up these relationships. Go regularly to survivor support groups, which can be great places to share feelings and concerns with those who have been through similar things.
- Go for well-planned regular check ups and screening tests: As a cancer survivor, nothing holds more importance than going to your regular post-treatment checkups with the cancer doctor and team. It is not only important to your health as a survivor but also the right place to share any concerns or questions about the health. Become a team to manage your health needs. It’s also important to keep getting recommended screening tests for other cancers and for heart diseases, diabetes, and other risk factors.
A life-changing experience!
Cancer sometimes prompts you to re-examine your priorities in life. This shift is often gradual and positive changes can take time. However, there are several things you can do to create and maintain a healthy life after cancer. However, research shows that getting information of what to expect after treatment can help you prepare for the change.