Were you previously diagnosed with cancer, but are now in remission? One of the main things that’s likely on your mind is staying healthy and preventing the cancer from ever returning. While no one can predict the future, your past is a good indicator of what you can do to change and create a more positive outcome. This starts with being the healthiest you can be. Here are just a few ways to be a little more healthier, and some simple ways to try to achieve your goals.
Stop Smoking and Drinking
If you’ve finished your surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, there is a good chance that you also gave up smoking and drinking during your treatment. If you’ve been tempted to start back up again, try to focus on your health and avoiding heavy alcohol consumption and smoking tobacco. Smoking and drinking can increase your risk for developing cancer again, and puts you at high risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Take the necessary steps now to try to turn your life around. This includes:
- *Asking your doctor about medications or patches to help curb nicotine cravings.
- *Attending an Alcoholic’s Anonymous class to help reduce your consumption of alcohol.
Your body’s immune system is likely diminished or affected from your last dose of chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatment. Smoking cigarettes can make it hard to build your immune system and blood cells up, so it’s important to try to quit as soon as possible. If you were a previous drug user, curve temptations by attending rehab for women to help work through coping mechanisms to avoid a relapse.
Routine Doctor’s Visits
Another aspect of remaining healthy after cancer treatment is to see your doctor routinely. Not just your oncologist or surgeon, but also your general practitioner. Routine visits will be able to detect possible cancer recurrence at an early stage. Your family doctor will also be able to order other tests to check for underlying medical conditions that could affect your total recovery and healing. Seeing your doctor routinely will also help with your mental health. If you’re experiencing any type of anxiety or depression related to your post-cancer lifestyle, your doctor can refer you to a trained psychologist for further evaluation and counseling.
Part of retaining a healthy lifestyle is eating balanced meals from the main food groups. It’s important to focus on whole grains and low-fat meal choices throughout the day. Vegetables are equally important. Staying away from high starch veggies such as potatoes, can help reduce weight gain and bloat. Fruits are always welcome, but always watch their sugar content, to avoid rapid spikes in blood sugar which could lead to weight gain. Beans, seeds and dairy products are also important to implement into your diet. Combining foods from each group can help you live a healthier diet and lifestyle.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that most healthy adults should get up to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. So, depending on how many days of the week you work out, it should equal out to about 30 to 60 minutes each day. The key is to not overdo it and allow yourself plenty of time to stretch prior to working out. Eating a protein bar prior to each workout can also give you a boost of energy to help get you through each exercise routine. Drinking plenty of water—at least eight 8 ounce servings a day, can help you maintain your body’s water levels. If you are exposed to extreme heat or find yourself extremely thirsty after a rigorous workout, don’t be afraid to consume more. Electrolyte replenishment drinks can also be used, but be wary of drinks that contain a lot of artificial sweeteners and energy boosters. Stick to natural alternatives and try to get your vitamins and minerals from whole fruit juices instead.
Combining several methods to get the best outcome is what you should strive for. You’re body will be recovering for several months, and even years in some cases, from the effects of cancer surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Keeping your body healthy will reduce the risk of recurrence and keep you looking and feeling your best.