Healthy Living For Cancer Survivors

Healthy Living For Cancer Survivors
January 18, 2024 by admin

If you have been diagnosed with any type of cancer and you have successfully completed the treatment program, you need to know how you can maintain your health and even improve it. The cancer hospital in Chennai that guided you during treatment will provide you with specific information in this regard. However, here are some general tips that cancer survivors should keep in mind.

Healthy Diet

Research studies show that making lifestyle changes is helpful in preventing a relapse. Choosing to eat a balanced diet consisting of unprocessed and low-fat foods helps you regain your strength following the completion of your cancer treatment. Following a healthy diet during and after treatment also prevents or helps control other health problems such as excess body weight, heart problems, osteoporosis, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes.

Experts generally recommend following a predominantly plant-based diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Consumption of lean protein (chicken and fish) and low-fat dairy products in smaller quantities is also recommended. It is best to avoid eating highly processed packaged foods, red meat, and processed meats (lunch meat and bacon). Furthermore, it is important to stay well hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of water and other fluids.

The nutritional needs of each person are different. It is, therefore, important that you talk to an experienced nutritionist recommended by one of the best oncologists in Chennai that you consult. The nutritionist will recommend the diet plan that is right for you. This is important because it helps you overcome side effects such as mouth sores or digestion problems that you may experience.

Physical Activity

One of the most important factors that impact healthy living is exercise. Engaging in physical activity during and after completing cancer treatment is helpful in many ways, as follows:

  • Reduces anxiety and fatigue
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Improves heart health
  • Prevents you from gaining weight
  • Boosts muscle strength and improves endurance
  • Enhances positive feelings

The side effects of cancer treatment include fatigue, tiredness, and sleeping problems. You can check with the team that treated you to find out what kind of physical activity will help you best manage cancer treatment side effects.

If you are not used to exercising or have not been involved in any physical activity for a long time, it can be a challenging task to start exercising on a regular basis. However, you need to remember that some activity is better than no activity. A few tips for you in this regard are:

  • Start small. Walk for 10 minutes a day or engage in any other light exercise. Consciously increase your physical activity every day.
  • Once you feel comfortable exercising every day, you can increase or add more activities. For instance, you can choose to walk a little after parking your car when going to the office, shopping, etc. You can also take the stairs instead of going by elevator.
  • You can also exercise when doing other activities. You can walk while watching TV, listening to music, or reading a book.
  • Seek support. You can consider working out with your friend or neighbour by joining group exercise classes or hiring a personal trainer.
  • As fatigue can prevent you from doing your daily physical activity, exercising during those times of the day when you feel most energetic is a good idea.

Following a healthy diet and regular exercise helps you maintain weight. Studies show that maintaining a healthy body weight is helpful to survivors of prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers. It may be helpful to survivors of other types of cancers as well.

Emotional Health

Fear of recurrence, depression, stress, anxiety and other strong emotions often impact the speed of recovery and make it difficult for you to lead a healthy lifestyle. New physical problems, such as sleep issues, headaches, and stomach problems, can also crop up.

Writing, exercising, practicing relaxation techniques, and spending time outside all help you cope with emotional stress. Finding time to be involved in fun activities by getting together with friends, watching a movie, or walking with your dog can be extremely helpful. This is because laughter helps improve your mood and reduce stress.

Follow-Up Care

Follow-up care is an important aspect of healthy living following cancer treatment. You need to keep up with the regular after-care visits to the hospital where you underwent treatment. Your doctor will recommend the tests to be done to check for a recurrence and the development of secondary cancer. In addition to managing any of the long-term side effects, your doctor will keep a tab on your overall health.

Risk Factors To Avoid

After your cancer treatment is over, you must continue to avoid risk factors to prevent a recurrence. The risk factors to be avoided are:

Use Of Tobacco: 

Stopping tobacco usage following a cancer diagnosis helps to improve not only your recovery but also your overall health. Also, avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

Sun Exposure: 

Using broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) every day and wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sun-protective clothing when outdoors during the day helps reduce the chances of recurrence of skin cancers.

Use Of Alcohol: 

Alcohol usage is known to increase the risk of cancer development. Limit your alcohol consumption by talking to your care team, followed by avoiding binge drinking.

Sugam Hospital

The multispecialty hospital, Sugam, offers comprehensive cancer care as the oncology department is manned by a team of highly experienced doctors. The team includes radiologists, medical oncologists, and surgical oncologists. They work together to recommend the ideal course of treatment for you. As part of the holistic treatment provided at Sugam, additional support in the form of counselling is provided to help you cope with the physical and emotional stress you experience.

Services provided by the oncology department at Sugam include conventional and high-dose chemotherapy, surgical oncology; haemato-oncology; palliative care; cancer screening; and paediatric oncology. At Sugam, we also have one of the best diagnostic labs in Chennai, and we offer services such as MRI, CT scan, PET scan, and mammogram, among others.