Cancer recurrence is a significant concern for cancer survivors. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer recurrence is when cancer returns after treatment and a period of time when no signs of the disease are present. Lifestyle changes after cancer treatment can help reduce the risk of recurrence and improve overall health and quality of life. Here are some lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of recurrence:
Maintain a Healthy Diet:
A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can provide the nutrients and antioxidants needed to support the immune system and fight cancer. It is also essential to limit processed and red meats, sugary drinks, and high-fat foods. Some studies have suggested that a plant-based diet may be particularly beneficial for reducing the risk of recurrence.
Achieve a Healthy Weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for reducing the risk of cancer recurrence. Obesity and excess body fat can increase the risk of cancer recurrence, particularly for certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can improve overall health and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Exercise can also improve physical fitness, reduce fatigue, and improve overall quality of life. The American Cancer Society recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol:
Tobacco and alcohol use can increase the risk of cancer recurrence. Smoking and using tobacco products can increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. Alcohol use can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast and colorectal cancer. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can improve overall health and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Stress can have a significant impact on overall health and may contribute to cancer recurrence. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, can help reduce stress levels and improve overall health.
Get Adequate Sleep:
Sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. Adequate sleep can help reduce stress levels, improve physical and mental health, and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults.
Follow a Follow-Up Care Plan:
After cancer treatment, it is essential to follow a follow-up care plan. The follow-up care plan may include regular doctor visits, imaging tests, and blood work to monitor for any signs of cancer recurrence. Following the recommended follow-up care plan can help detect cancer recurrence early and improve overall health outcomes.
In conclusion, lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and improve overall health and quality of life. Maintaining a healthy diet, achieving a healthy weight, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, managing stress, getting adequate sleep, and following a follow-up care plan are all essential for reducing the risk of cancer recurrence. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized plan for reducing the risk of cancer recurrence.