Being diagnosed with cancer is a tough and life-altering experience. Patients feel a sense of lossin their lives, such as the loss of good health, loss of independence, temporary or permanent changes in appearance, changed relationships,financial hardships, inability to do normal activities, and much more. Stress, fear, and anxiety are common emotions patients experience.
However, taking steps to ensure good physical and emotional health is essential. Taking charge of your health by developing healthy habits can reduce spread and make treatment more effective.
The most common causes of cancer
Cancer is caused by the transformation of normal cells into tumor cells. The transformation results fromthe interaction between a person’s genetic factors and toxic external agents. Carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) may be physical (UV or ionizing radiations), chemical (asbestos, tobacco, aflatoxins, alcohol, etc.), or biological (bacteria, viruses, parasites).
Exposure to these carcinogens is one of the major causes of cancer. Over 10,000 deaths occur because of asbestos-relatedlung cancer every year. However, the asbestos exposure is easily avoidable. Even after knowing that asbestos is harmful, many companies still make and sell asbestos-containing products without revealing the risks.
If you believe you have lung cancer due to asbestos exposure, the Lung Cancer Group can help you receive justice and financial aid. Their amazing team of caring patient advocates, nurses, and attorneys have helped about 7,000+ families and recovered $4 billion in many cases. In addition, they charge no upfront fee, providing you with further financial relief.
Other than the financial compensation, remember to take care of your health, not just for the sake of living longer but living better. Continue reading to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle during and after cancer treatment.
1. Eat a healthy diet
Proper nutrition is vital for cancer patients during and after the treatment. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help you cope better with side effects. It will also help reduce inflammation, preserve immune function, fight infections, and boost energy.
A balanced diet contains foods from all food groups that your body needs to function properly and fight the disease. Plant-based proteins, such as beans, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, are some of the best foods to eat during chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, as well as after the treatment. If you want to eat animal protein, choose lean meat, like chicken and fish. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids help improve cardiovascular health and combat inflammation. For snacks, rely on healthy options like yogurt, cereal, cheese, and crackers. Avoideating high-fat, spicy, fried, hard-to-chew/swallow, and processed foods.
Additionally, constipation is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. Therefore, add fiber-rich foods (oats, barley, nuts, lentils, fresh fruits, etc.) to your diet.
2. Stay physically active
Although being physically active is recommended for everyone, it is especially beneficial for cancer patients. Cancer patients should avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle, as spending too much sitting or resting can cause muscle weakness, loss of body function, and reduced range of motion.
Regular physical activity and exercise have numerous health benefits for cancer patients. Mainly, it reduces fatigue, relieves depression and anxiety, improves sleep, enhances bone health and range of motion, strengthens your immune system, and more. Adequate physical activity will also help maintain a healthy body weight and keep your mind and body healthy.
3. Take care of your mental health
Addressing your mental and emotional needs is as important as taking care of your physical health. A cancer diagnosis has a major impact on the mental and emotional health of the patient. It is common for survivors to feel stressed, anxious, and depressed after a diagnosis and throughout treatment.
If the feelings of sadness and fear persist, do not be hesitant to ask for help. It is even better to seek professional help. You can also take some steps to manage stress and anxiety. For example, engage in relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and guided imagery to relieve your stress. You can also share your worries and fears with trusted friends or family to help you feel better. Taking care of your mental health will give you the courage and motivation to fight the disease.
4. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
If you have had lung cancer before, quitting smoking is the best decision you will ever make. It will reduce your risk of developing cancer for the second time, as smoking is the major cause of lung cancer. It will also minimize your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Studies have demonstrated that quitting smoking may improve cancer treatment effectiveness, ensure faster recovery, and improve the quality of life. Moreover, you will also have a fully functional immune system that will actively work to fight cancer.
Similarly, alcohol poses a great threat to cancer patients. One of the major risks of alcohol consumption is the reoccurrence of cancer. Therefore, it is best to eliminate alcohol from your life fully. Drink alcohol-free drinks at parties and meals. At home, stock up on alcohol-free and healthy drink options, such as fizzy water, fresh juices, etc.
Battling with cancer is not a piece of cake; it shakes your world. If you are diagnosed with cancer or you have had cancer before, you will know the challenges of the diagnosis. However, there are some necessary steps that every cancer patient and survivor needs to take. Making considerable lifestyle amendments, such as healthy eating, physical exercise, ensuring sound mental health, and eliminating toxins from your diet, can play a significant role in your recovery and healing from cancer.