Surviving cancer is a huge feat that deserves celebration. Cancer treatment is exhausting and consumes a lot of your mental peace. Going back to sessions can seem like the end of the world, but with the support and love of your close ones, the ride can be easier. If you have survived the ride, kudos to you. Survival rates of cancer can vary from one type to another.
While testicular cancer patients have a 98% chance, patients recovering from pancreatic cancer conditions have a one-year relative survival rate of 20%, and a five-year rate of 9%.
As a cancer survivor, you must be eager to get back to good health and gain a sense of well-being after years of illness. Post the initial recovery, which you must have done well. There are small things you can do to thank your body for living through so much and maintain it through a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise and yoga
Exercise is beneficial not only for survivors but those who are in the middle of their treatment. Diagnosis and treatment drain you and leaves you weak. To rebuild your strength, at least 30 minutes of exercise is a must. It can include walking, a little bit of strength training, dancing, or any other activity that you enjoy and counts as physical training. You can make small shifts like taking the stairs instead of the lift.
If you wish to indulge in calmer physical activity, consistent yoga practice is a great alternative or an addition to your exercise routine. These will keep your moods uplifted, build flexibility and power, and reduce your fatigue. It will also improve your pain and help in bettering your mental health.
Smoking is a big ‘no’ for anybody at any stage of a cancer diagnosis. If you are a survivor and have had a habit of smoking, it is best you avoid going back to minimize the risks of relapse. You want to keep all chances of reoccurring cancer or heart strokes at bay. If you are having a hard time quitting, speak to your health professional to get yourself help.
Even if you are not actively smoking, avoid passive smoking by being around smoky areas. Do not visit smokey clubs and pubs or be around friends when they are smoking. You must keep yourself safe.
If you want to drink alcohol, maintain a balance. For healthy adults, this means up to two drinks a day for men and women. However, if it can be avoided, it is best.
If you have one drink a day, your risk of getting heart disease may go down. But it also makes some cancers more likely, like those of the mouth and throat. It might not be a severe reason for cancer, but when a survivor, you might want to do the best you can to avoid going through the process again.
Maintain a healthy weight
It is stressful to survive cancer, given the side effects of treatment and changes in routine that can come with a cancer diagnosis. For a survivor, it can be hard to keep their weight in check. Still, staying at a healthy weight is an important goal that all survivors should strive for.
Try to inculcate physical activities and movement in your routine, eat healthy food and do not sit for long hours. Such little practice can automatically help you maintain a good weight. Try speaking to a dietician if you need a substantial weight gain or loss. Make the process slow but consistent.
A balanced diet
A recovering patient needs to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Include good fats like olive oil or canola oil, healthy carbohydrates, and lots of protein through fish, nuts, and meat in your diet.
While a certain diet might not ascertain the stopping of cancer recurrence, it’s best to eat a variety of foods, with a focus on fruits and vegetables. It may be tempting to add a lot of vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet, but too much of any nutrient can do more harm than good.
The more you stress, the more your health will deteriorate. Do not overdo any of these things when you are still recovering because your body will need time to recover and repair. But be consistent with your healthy lifestyle practices and see yourself transform into a healthy and strong individual as you might have imagined at some point in your treatment journey.