Life either changes or ends once you get cancer. Being a cancer survivor isn’t easy as your body becomes weaker. However, many cancer survivors have fought the disease like heroes even after surviving it. They are now brimming with confidence, and life is like a breath of fresh air to them.
In case of early detection and prevention, advancing is a lot easier. Cancer survivors follow it up with treatment and take good care of themselves. However, in their minds, cancer survivors are aware that this is not the end of the disease, and the effects continue long after the treatment is over.
Successful treatment is not guaranteed to end the emotional, physical, and financial hardships. Instead, all of it will persist for years to come.
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How can cancer patients improve quality of life?
Oncologists and health care professionals worldwide have spoken about a few steps to improve the quality of life after cancer and let us just briefly summarize some of them.
Stick To A Survivorship Plan
Health care professionals etch out a survivorship care plan for cancer survivors all across the globe. If you’re a cancer survivor, don’t think about ending your treatment plan once you steer clear of the disease.
The Institute of Medicine has put forward this plan, and it is a good blueprint that helps all the cancer survivors to maintain balanced health and move forward with their lives once the treatment is over.
The treatment and diagnosis history of the patient is jotted down with a detailed summary. As a patient, you need to be aware of the side effects of cancer in both the short-term and long-term. The survivorship plan also provides tips to manage all kinds of symptoms, complications, and changes in the body.
This survivor plan is a perfect resource for engaging in a healthy lifestyle and making the necessary changes. They must also turn to their support sources and also maintain the contact information of the dedicated team of health care professionals.
You can also improve the quality of life after cancer with regular exercise. Most cancer survivors find it hard to include exercise into their schedule as their routine gets interrupted, and things went very tough after the treatment.
However, regular physical activity has many benefits, and it also works well for those in the middle of cancer treatment. Your health receives a massive boost, and it also improves your overall mood. You can also treat the fatigue resulting from cancer, and the chances of recurrence of the chronic disease are substantially lowered through regular exercise. Here’s what you can do:
- Include brisk walking and aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Fit in more time to include strength training in the fitness regimen.
- You can also include enjoyable activities like gardening, walking, and dancing as part of your physical activity.
- Set aside a particular time for exercise and keep yourself motivated by exercising simultaneously.
Keep A Healthy Weight
The side effects of cancer treatment and stress can take a toll on your body. Cancer survivors also suffer as the overall routine changes, and it is hard to keep a check on their weight. You can maintain a healthy and minimum weight without gaining further by keeping certain things in check.
It is a crucial step to be on the path of health and wellness and improve the quality of life after cancer by maintaining a healthy weight. The following are pretty easy to follow:
- Spend less time in front of the laptop, mobile phones, and television.
- Overall, you need to integrate movement and physical activity into your life.
- Include more of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in your diet.
- Slowing eating by choosing smaller portions is necessary to maintain a healthy weight.
Adhere To Effective Nutrition Guidelines
A healthy diet is a must for most cancer survivors, and these are science-based facts. You can reduce the risk of cancer returning considerably by following nutrition guidelines. It is easier to fight off all kinds of potential infections. Adhering to nutritional guidelines also helps in healing after your surgery or treatment.
Following are some side effects of cancer treatments:
- Some cancer survivors may experience specific lingering changes in their smell and taste.
- You might also suffer from loss of appetite.
- There can also be instances of weight gain, which can be attributed to hormonal treatment and physical inactivity.
However, all these side effects can be managed efficiently by following valuable guidelines specifically for cancer survivors. A cancer survivor will yield good results by following a healthy routine and eating healthy foods. Here’s what you can do to maintain essential health and nutrition:
- Bringing in minor changes to the daily routine by limiting the consumption of alcohol, processed foods, and red meat will go a long way in ensuring better health.
- It is always best to have smaller meals and that too frequently.
- Seasoning the food and adding more spices will bring out the actual flavor of the food.
- Use plastic utensils instead of iron skillets if the taste of the food is bitter or metallic by any chance.
- One can also turn on the fan and open the window to minimize the nausea-induced smell.
- Many wonder diets are available on the websites, in articles, and in books, but you need to follow a rigorously healthy diet.
- Choose all kinds of foods with healthy fats and cut down on those having bad fats.
- Have plenty of fruits and vegetables in every meal and cereals for snacks.
This will not only help to maintain a healthy body weight but will also provide all the necessary nutrients required by the body. This healthy diet will also provide all the necessary energy to make you active and energetic to navigate your busy schedule. This way, you can improve their quality of life by following the food safety norms.
Physical Therapy Is A Must After Cancer
Exhaustion and nerve damage are pretty common because of the harsh effects of cancer treatments. Chronic pain occurs along with swelling and weakness. So, it is imperative to opt for physical therapy to manage such impairments and eliminate them from the system. This will pave the way for healthy and improved living and ensure a comfortable life.
- Treatments of physical therapy include aerobic exercise and soft tissue mobilization.
- Strength training and therapeutic massage are also part of the regimen.
- Significant strengthening and stretching techniques are combined with endurance training to improve the quality of life of the cancer survivor.
The cancer care team closely monitors the physical therapists and helps the cancer survivor regain strength and maintain overall energy. This is the best possible way to lead an improved and healthy life after cancer.
The mental and physical roller coaster is hard to navigate while fighting cancer. This can affect the family life and work of a cancer survivor. It can also take a toll on your relationship, so wellness is etched out to stabilize your mental faculty, strengthen the body, and boost spiritual health.
An exercise program is tailor-made to attain individual goals. It is helpful for the following:
- Restore physical mobility
- Improve self-esteem
- Reduce depression and anxiety
- Ensure protection from infection and other illnesses
- Minimize the impacts of fatigue and nausea
- Ensure better sleep
- Boost the cognitive system
- Improve your endurance and flexibility post-cancer treatment
- Boost your self-esteem and confidence
Social Connection With Cancer Survivors
Cancer survivors go through a healing process after diagnosis and treatment. This is when you need to stay socially connected.
Most cancer patients feel that they are burdening their loved ones and do not want to put further strain on them. However, this is the best time to connect with support groups. Most cancer patients typically have negative feelings like vulnerability, fear, and anger. Even uncertainty and sadness are considered healthy responses to chronic disease.
To meet fellow cancer survivors, you can connect with them through digital support groups. This will help you to openly and honestly navigate all your emotions. It is a perfect reminder to you that you are not at all alone in this fight.
On a Final Note
Post-treatment checkups are essential for any cancer survivor. Make sure you always keep in touch with the cancer care team and oncologists. You can share all your issues as a cancer survivor. These visits are crucial to your health to remain hale and hearty after all the hurdles. Just follow these basic things mentioned above. It will help you improve your health as well as your quality of life after cancer.