Cancer is still a major threat and is the leading cause of death worldwide. But with a better understanding of the disease, more people are able to seek treatment and go into remission.
Did you recently go through cancer treatment and survived this horrendous disease? If so, you’re a strong person on the inside and out.
Now that your cancer is cleared, you’re probably ready to return to normal life. Understand that first, you have to get your health back up.
Here are ways to take care of your body during cancer treatment recovery so you can go back to living your normal life.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Your diet is the first thing to focus on. If you need to gain weight, focus on eating healthy whole grains. Whole grains will provide the energy and sustenance that your body needs to heal.
Beans and legumes are also healthy sources of carbs. These foods are also great sources of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins.
As with any diet, always include some fruits and vegetables. Focus on eating whole fruit as opposed to fruit juices or smoothies. Eat a variety of vegetables of all colors. These include bell peppers, spinach or kale, and carrots.
Make sure you eat 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily. If you’re unsure how to add these healthy foods into your diet, here are some recommendations:
- Chop up some vegetables and eat them with dip as a snack
- Add fruit to whole-grain cereal or oatmeal
- Eat fruit with yogurt
- Choose fruits that are easy to snack on, such as grapes
In addition to fruits and vegetables, eat healthy fats. Unsaturated fat (poly- and monounsaturated fat) reduces inflammation, lowers bad cholesterol, and builds stronger cell membranes. You can find unsaturated fat in a variety of nuts and fish.
Make sure you consume less saturated fat. Saturated fat increases heart disease risk factors. In addition to fish, eat eggs and lean meats such as poultry as opposed to red and processed meat.
Should you eat a certain diet? There are sources that say vegetables and other plant-based food may prevent certain cancers. However, more research needs to confirm this.
However, you should still include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure you get the optimum amount of vitamins and minerals.
While you may not have the strength to head back to the gym, it’s important you stay as active as you can. Even brisk exercises improve the way your body functions. Exercise also has mental health benefits so you’ll feel better.
First, always talk to your doctor before exercising. There’s a chance they may advise that you avoid exercise until you get your strength back.
You may not be able to do the intense exercise you did before getting cancer, and that’s okay. First, focus on walking. Monitor your steps and set goals for yourself. You may not be able to walk 1,000 steps at once, and that’s okay.
Increase your step goal by 1,000 until you’re able to get to 10,000 steps a day.
Once you reach this goal, talk to your doctor about more intense exercise. Start with strength training, but with bodyweight or light weights.
While exercising, be on the lookout for symptoms such as fatigue. If you don’t feel great during a workout, be sure to stop and rest.
Get Plenty of Rest
Did you struggle with sleep while undergoing cancer treatment? This is a common problem that many people with cancer have. Side effects from the treatment, physical body changes, and mental health effects can all contribute to a lack of sleep.
Now that you’re done with cancer treatment, it’s important to get the optimum amount of shut-eye. Sleep is essential to recovery; you’ll feel refreshed and sleep rejuvenates the body.
Are you still struggling to sleep? Here are some best practices to get plenty of sleep:
- Follow a strict sleep schedule
- Avoid caffeine (at least a few hours before bed)
- Don’t exercise before bed
- Avoid computer and cell phone screens when you’re ready to fall asleep
- Keep your bedroom quiet
What if you get plenty of rest but are still sleepy during the day? Talk to your doctor.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Many cancer patients experience a difference in weight during treatment.
Certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, and specific treatments may cause weight gain but others cause weight loss. Regardless of your weight changes, it’s important to reach a healthy weight — whether you need to gain or lose weight.
First, talk to your doctor. You may not know if you need to gain or lose weight. Your doctor will offer suggestions and will set a goal weight for you.
Inform your doctor if you’re still experiencing side effects from the cancer treatment, such as pain and nausea, that may interfere with eating a balanced diet and exercising.
Stop Unhealthy Habits
After cancer treatment, it’s essential you get your health back. That’s why it’s also important to avoid past unhealthy habits.
For most, the first thing to give up is smoking. Cigarettes not only increase your risk of lung cancer but also cervical, bladder, and colectomy cancers.
It’s never too late to give up smoking. This can not only prevent cancer reoccurrence but can also lower your risk of developing a second type of cancer.
The second thing you’ll want to give up is substances. While you may want to start drinking alcohol, do so in moderation. For most, this is one or two drinks a day. Drinking more than this increases your cancer risks.
When it comes to substance use, alcohol shouldn’t be the only thing to avoid.
You should avoid drug use, especially prescription drug use. Drug addiction can cause various health problems, such as different cancers. Avoid all recreational drugs and only take prescription medication as prescribed.
Are You Looking for a Cancer Treatment Center in Augusta, GA?
Cancer is still a leading cause of death. Fortunately, cancer treatment is constantly improving. In order to experience the best results, you’ll want to visit the best oncologist.
Are you looking for an oncologist in Augusta, GA? Augusta Oncology offers world-class care for cancer and blood disease patients. Schedule an appointment today!