A cancer diagnosis can drastically alter your life while presenting many difficulties. You may feel exhausted often. It might affect your appearance, physical capabilities, and your independence. Although medical therapies play a role in the road toward cancer recovery, habits, and lifestyle choices can have an enormous impact on your overall health. Maintaining health is critical for cancer patients, contributing to better emotional, physical, and mental health.
It is never too early to begin. Whether you are just diagnosed with the disease or undergoing cancer treatment, take control of your health and manage cancer before it rules your life. For that, it is crucial to have some strategies to have a healthy lifestyle.
In this article, we explore some practices and tips cancer patients can follow to improve their health and quality of life.
1. Find A Cancer Support Group
Cancer support groups are sessions designed for people diagnosed with cancer. Although many individuals find support from family members and friends, the main reason people join support groups is to connect with others having similar experiences.
Studies show that joining a cancer support group enhances the quality of life and the survival rate. These groups can help you feel more powerful and better, offer you a chance to speak about your emotions and coping mechanisms, and allow you to deal with practical issues such as legal problems or troubles at school or work.
For example, if you or your family member developed lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, you may want to know the people’s experiences. They may even be about to guide you on getting compensation by suing the party that was responsible for the asbestos exposure. In that case, you can get in touch with a legal firm that has expertise in this, like Lung Cancer Group. They can help you with legal advice and pursue legal compensation, which can help with funding your or your loved one’s treatment.
Many cancer centers, hospitals, and community groups offer support groups. You can ask your local hospital or social worker to suggest groups.
2. Have A Balanced Nutrition
A well-balanced nutrition is a cornerstone of sound health, particularly for cancer patients. Eating various nutrition-rich foods supports the immune system of your body and helps prevent side effects related to treatment.
Consult your dietitian to help you create a healthy, balanced diet plan. Concentrate on including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats in your daily diet. Choose low-fat dairy products. Avoid sugars and processed beverages, and drink plenty of water to support organ health and speed recovery.
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking can lead to cancer in almost any body part, including the mouth, esophagus, colon, stomach, rectum, pancreas, liver, lung, larynx, bronchus, trachea, kidney, cervix, and urinary bladder. However, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.
As a cancer survivor, smoking can hinder your body from combating the illness. Poisons in cigarettes can weaken your immune system, making it hard for your body to work against cancer cells. This causes cancer cells to continue growing. The first thing you must do as a cancer patient is quit smoking to decrease your chance of developing a second chronic illness.
4. Prioritize Mental and Emotional Health
Cancer may cause people to experience multiple emotions, such as worry, stress, anxiety, and depression. Engaging in enjoyable activities such as reading, painting, writing, shopping, talking to a loved one, watching movies, and other hobbies can help alleviate stress. Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can also offer cancer patients emotional support.
If you think you or your loved one is experiencing severe mental health symptoms, seek professional support from counselors or therapists to improve mental well-being.
5. Always Adhere to Medical Recommendations
While lifestyle modifications are essential, they should complement, not replace, medical recommendations and treatments. Stick to your doctor’s recommendations regarding treatment protocols, medications, and follow-up appointments. Communicate openly with your healthcare providers to ensure your lifestyle choices coordinate with your treatment plan.
6. Stay Connected to Your Loved Ones
Social connections play a pivotal role in the health of cancer patients. Surrounding yourself with loved ones, including family members and close friends, can relieve feelings of isolation and offer a sense of belonging. Share your experiences with the people you love, and you will receive encouragement from those who understand your journey, making you feel cared for and loved.
7. Manage Your Stress Levels
Chronic stress can impede the cancer recovery process. You need to manage your emotions and worries to boost your healing process. Engage in something you love to relax and unwind, such as gardening or pursuing creative hobbies. Stress management approaches can decrease cortisol levels, enhance immune function, and positively impact treatment results.
8. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep helps the body to refresh and rebuild. It allows your immune system to function better. Although trouble sleeping is one of the problems cancer patients experience during and after treatment, a few tips can help.
- Keep your sleep routine consistent, including on weekends.
- Read a book or take a bath to relax.
- Make sure your room is dark, quiet, and relaxing.
- Avoid using electronic devices, such as computers, TVs, or smartphones.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and large meals before bedtime.
Getting adequate quality sleep can boost energy and help you deal with the cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.
9. Stay Physically Active
Regular exercise, as approved by healthcare providers, can have profound advantages for cancer patients. Physical activity can help fight fatigue, maintain muscle mass, improve mood, and boost cardiovascular health. Activities such as walking, gentle strength training, and yoga can be tailored to your treatment regimen and individual capabilities.
The journey of individuals who have cancer is undeniably challenging; however, by adopting a holistic approach to wellness, people can improve their general health and quality of life. Through a healthy, balanced diet, regular physical activity, regulating their stress, prioritizing mental well-being, and following medical recommendations properly, cancer patients can traverse their path with resiliency, courage, and an improved sense of purpose. Keep in mind that every wise decision you make advances your health and gives you more control over your healing process.