The moment a patient with cancer hears that his or her cancer treatment has been successful is a moment to celebrate! Even so, it can still be difficult to shake worries about the possibility of recurrence.
“Many patients find that living a proactive lifestyle helps calm fears and worry about cancer recurrence," says Goshen Health naturopathic doctor Emily Moore. "A post-treatment healing program should aim to support optimal health and immune function, which rests upon a foundation of healthy eating, exercise, sufficient sleep and joyful living."
Once you or a loved one has undergone successful cancer treatment, consider concentrating on the following areas to soothe fears about cancer recurrence and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle:
Exercise. Research on the importance of exercise in preventing cancer recurrence is substantial and has shown that individuals who increased their physical activity after diagnosis had a 45 percent lower risk of recurrence than those who remained inactive. Start with the level of activity your body can tolerate, and slowly work up to 30 minutes of exercise every day. If you have physical limitations that keep you from exercising, consider asking your doctor about physical therapy.
Sleep. Getting enough sleep is critical, because many anti-cancer immune processes are most active during sleep. Many factors—including poor sleep hygiene, stress and hormonal changes—can interrupt sound sleep. It is important to look at sleep as a reflection of your overall health and address underlying causes of restless nights before seeking a sleep medication. However, certain supplements such as melatonin or glycine may help reset a disrupted sleep cycle; ask your naturopathic provider for guidance.
Joyful living. Finding ways to manage stress is of utmost importance, since high stress levels can suppress immune function. While we cannot eliminate all stress from our lives, we can certainly change the way we perceive it—and safeguard our bodies against it with nurturing activities and relationships that bring us joy.
Supplements. Certain vitamins or plant-based antioxidants may be useful in your recovery and long-term immune support regimen. It is important to consult with a naturopathic provider to discuss which supplements may be helpful for you and avoid interactions with your prescription medications.
Posted: 7/29/2015 by
Filed under: cancer, recurrence, treatment