The end of cancer treatment marks the start of a new chapter in a person's life, bringing hope and happiness, but also concerns and fears. No two people are alike. Everyone copes and learns to manage their emotions and physical challenges differently. This coping up mechanism requires time, effort, consistency, and persistence. It takes time, effort, consistency, and persistence to develop this coping mechanism.
Even after you've overcome the difficult challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment, you still need to learn how to navigate life as a cancer survivor. However, because of modern medicine, millions of survivors are not only living longer but also improving their quality of life. Taking charge of your health is one of the simplest ways to achieve this.
Chemotherapy treatment is one of the most widely used forms of cancer treatment. Chemotherapy works by destroying rapidly growing cancer cells, and as these potent medications kill cancer cells, they can also destroy rapidly growing healthy cells. The subsequent side effects of chemotherapy include fatigue, nausea, and hair loss. We have shared a separate blog post on ways to deal with chemotherapy side effects. Here we are going to talk about ways you can continue taking good care of yourself after the completion of chemotherapy treatment. The best day to start making positive changes is any day. Preferably today.
Here are six habits that can help boost your health once you have finished treatment. Your doctor can help you with this. Start with one or two habits and work your way up to the others after you have those down.
Of course, you've heard this before. But giving up smoking is the greatest thing you can do as a cancer survivor. It will also reduce your chances of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Yes, it is challenging. But it's not impossible.
Avoid secondhand smoke. Spending time in smoke-filled areas can increase the risk of second cancer and heart disease.
Many people find it challenging to integrate exercise into their schedules. It can be especially difficult for cancer survivors whose regular routines have been so disrupted and who may have just finished treatment. However, even for people who are in the middle of treatment, the advantages of regular movement make it well worth the effort to fit it in. It not only promotes health but also elevates one’s mood and lessens exhaustion brought on by cancer.
The chance of recurrence and the likelihood of developing other chronic diseases may both be reduced by regular exercise. Try to engage in aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. The more, the better. Additionally, it's critical to incorporate strength training. Build up to twice a week or more. Follow the advice of your doctor or physical trainer when it comes to beginning a fitness routine.
It might be confusing to decide what to eat. Although "wonder" diets are promoted in books, articles, and on websites, good eating is the same for cancer survivors as it is for everyone else. A balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, offer your body the nutrition it requires, and give you the energy you need to get through the day.
Keep red meat to a minimum and prioritize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Furthermore, it's vital to consume less unhealthy fats (saturated and trans-fat) while increasing your intake of good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats).
Alcohol use can be a major challenge, particularly for survivors. A big benefit of moderate consumption is that it might be heart-healthy. However, it can also raise the likelihood of developing cancer in the future. For some people, drinking alcohol can become a crutch to cope with the mental and physical stress of cancer. Steps should be taken to avoid this beforehand.
If you don't drink, there's no need for you to start. If you do, maintain it at a reasonable level. People who drink more should reduce their intake.
Your health will greatly benefit from having a network of solid people, especially those who can provide physical and emotional support. Studies have examined cancer patients with the highest and least amount of social support. People who received the most social support lived longer and had a better quality of life.
Maintaining relationships with loved ones, friends, and other cancer survivors has significant benefits. Establishing and expanding a social network can positively affect survivors' quality of life and perhaps even their health. It can take some work to maintain these ties because cancer can be isolating, even for individuals with strong family and friend support.
Each night, try to get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep. Your body can renew, restore, and repair itself while you sleep. Sleep helps maintain mental agility and improves the performance of your immune system. Most adults require at least 7 hours of sleep per night but discuss your individual requirements with your doctor.
Sleep deprivation raises your risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health issues.
Also, it may interfere with your memory and ability to focus. Cancer survivors who don't get enough sleep run the risk of developing major issues, such as depression, lower quality of life, and may face difficulty doing daily tasks.
Attending your routine post-treatment checkups with your primary care physician and oncology team is essential for survivors. These appointments are necessary for your overall health as a survivor, as well as an excellent opportunity to discuss any worries or queries you may have regarding your health.
To manage your healthcare requirements, work as a team with your doctors. It's imperative to continue obtaining the recommended screening tests for other cancers as well as for risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, in addition to any follow-up procedures specific to your cancer.
Chemotherapy treatment is a systemic cancer treatment, meaning that it affects the entire body. To reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and ensure optimum quality of life after this treatment, following healthy habits plays a pivotal role.
Making healthy behavioral changes as a continuous, lifelong process - is what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. We advise concentrating on these six habits when deciding which areas need improvement. Each habit works positively with the others, and the combination of all six produces the best results.
Stay healthy and thrive by reading more of our blog posts like this.