Thanks to the great strides made in cancer treatment over the last decades, it is no longer the fatal disease that it once was. Today many forms of cancer respond to treatment and patients recover and go on to lead full and happy lives. That being said, patients must also understand what they need to do while undergoing treatment and then during recovery to support the efforts of their doctors and the medication they are prescribed. Here are a few general guidelines that will help cancer patients cope with their medical condition which are applicable to both the treatment and recovery periods.
- Stay active. The more you are able to exercise, without overexerting yourself, the stronger your body will become and the better it will be able to both fight the disease and then recover from it.
- Control weight. Many patients tend to put on extra weight both during and after treatment. Do not allow this to happen as the extra weight puts an additional strain on the body which is already under stress from fighting the disease.
- Eat healthy. Modify your diet to include lots of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains which will build up your ability to fight and recover for the disease. The hospital where you are going to be treated will have a professional nutritionist that will be able to help you create the right diet for yourself.
- Stop tobacco use. Smoking or chewing tobacco is extremely injurious to health in many ways for a healthy person. It is even more so in the case of cancer patients. Stop all tobacco use immediately.
- Plan for your recovery. Recovering from cancer and returning to a completely normal life is not a quick process – it will take time. Talk to your doctor about what the recovery will be like and plan your work, recreation, entertainment, travel and other activities accordingly. Sitting at home doing nothing is as bad as overstraining yourself.
- Stay mentally strong. Cancer takes its toll on mental and emotional health too. Do not be afraid to get professional counseling to keep yourself in a strong mental state. Staying in touch with friends and loved ones is a good way to maintain your emotional balance.
- Get enough rest. Sleep is often a problem for cancer patients. The causes include physical changes, the side effects of the treatment and anxiety and stress. Getting enough sleep is essential to your recovery. Keep caffeine consumption to a minimum, avoid excitement in the hours before you go to sleep, and stay away from anything that you find affects the duration and quality of your sleep.
- Remain social. Many cancer patients give in to feeling sorry for themselves and cutting out friends and loved ones because they do not want sympathy or pity.That is a mistake. As long as you remain positive, no one will pity you. Your social interaction is a very good stimulus for both your mind and body and this will not only help you to remain alert, but it will also reduce stress and improve your self-confidence and emotional fortitude.
These general guideline are based on cancer coping and recovery techniques used around the world.Some modifications may be required to suit specific individual needs. Use common sense while following them. While these are general guidelines that oncologists agree on, every patient is different and if any of the actions described here cause any discomfort, stop immediately and consult your doctor. In addition to what has been given here, your doctor may have other tips and advice, more suited to your overall health and recovery status, to help you cope both during and after the treatment.
Cancer is not an easy disease to defeat, but when you do, your life will take on a whole new quality and meaning.