Not smoking. Staying active. Keeping a healthy weight. Eating a well-balanced diet. All these things can prevent certain cancers and make a cancer survivor feel better. For instance, exercise cuts the fatigue that often follows cancer treatment.
Living healthily also helps you live longer. For example, the American Cancer Society says that eating well could help reduce your risk for cancer and its return.
A Missed Opportunity
Unfortunately, studies have shown that many cancer survivors are unlikely to exercise, eat right, and maintain a healthy weight. Research in the journal Cancer found that, compared with other cancer survivors, colon and breast cancer survivors were less active. That’s a shame, because experts say these survivors could gain the most from activity. And obese breast cancer survivors—another group needing exercise—were even less active than other obese women.
Moving in a Healthy Direction
A healthy diet will help you feel stronger, rebuild your body, and cut your risk of getting new cancers. So:
- Trim fat by baking or broiling, not frying.
- Pick low-fat milk and other dairy products.
- Limit or avoid salt-cured, smoked, and pickled food.
- Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Women who risk a recurrence of breast cancer may want to avoid alcohol.
Exercise cuts your risk for many diseases besides cancer. To get more active:
- Wear a pedometer to help you count your steps.
- Pedal an indoor bike or walk a treadmill while watching TV.
- Go dancing.
- Walk or bike instead of driving.
From receiving a cancer diagnosis to celebrating an anniversary cancer-free, WCHN Cancer Centers offer personalized cancer care every step of the way. Learn more: