Cancer is a vicious debilitating disease- where some cells in the body start multiplying and growing uncontrollably at an abnormal rate and start spreading to other parts of the body. Cancer starts when those cells that are damaged or broken start multiplying when they shouldn’t be. This leads to the formation of lumps of tissue, called tumours- which can be benign, or malignant, the latter of which are cancerous.
Modern medicine has taken great strides in battling this disease over the last few decades- with treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and bone-marrow transplants, among others, helping many patients to recover and extend their lives. However, the post-cancer care taken by the former patient is extremely crucial in ensuring that they can continue living a healthy life and not have to deal with a recurrence.
Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr. Dhanya KS, Radiation Oncologist, American Oncology Institute, Calicut, spoke on this matter, “Post-cancer care is an essential part of the entire journey, right from the diagnosis to treatment and adoption of a healthy lifestyle after survival. The lifestyle changes that a cancer survivor is recommended are similar to that of the person who wants to switch to a healthy lifestyle. However, the following measures have helped cancer survivor patients with an added benefit.”
Let’s look at some measures that cancer survivors must take to give themselves the reward of a healthy life. In fact, these pointers are relevant for just about all of us, so we can preemptively deal with the risk of ever having to face this disease. These are:
Healthy diet and plenty of water
A nutritious diet that is high on fibre, as well as essential nutrients like proteins, carbs, and fats, is imperative. Also imperative is drinking a solid amount of water on a regular basis. Just like plants need watering, so do we! And so, drink water at regular intervals and keep yourself hydrated so your body blooms, rather than withers.
Exercise and sleep
Living a sedentary lifestyle is the bane of a healthy body. One must absolutely keep themselves active one way or the other. Starting your days with even a semi-vigorous stretching routine will work wonders and raise your energy levels for the day, but if you can add a brisk walk to your daily routine on top of that, or perhaps a sport of your liking. “If you sit or sleep too much, you may lose muscle mass and increase your body fat, even if you are not gaining weight,” explains the doctor.
Topping all of that exercise with a good sleep cycle will leave your body in great condition and drastically reduce the risk of this disease.
Eliminate unhealthy habits
Habits like excessive smoking and drinking can lead to a severe negative spiral, so it is highly recommended to avoid them as much as possible. Living a smoke-free and alcohol-free life means you retain more control of your body and health.
Stress and the power of positive thought
Stress has been found to attract a lot of health problems, so it is important to find ways to eliminate stress. In fact, positive reinforcements and visualisations, which are in some ways the opposite of stress, have been found to act as a balm for the body leaving the person in a far healthier state. So it would work wonders to eliminate negative thoughts and immerse yourself in having a positive outlook in life as much as possible. The power of thought cannot be understated.