Survivorship: A Healthy Life After Treatment
At Southern Cancer Center, our mission is to navigate you from Patient to Survivor and we are here for you every step of the way throughout treatment and into recovery. Upon completing treatment, patients are faced with a new journey: survivorship. Survivorship is often defined as living with, through and beyond cancer, and for most people it is a time to rediscover how to live life cancer-free. During this time, it is crucial to focus on your mental and physical well-being. Here are some tips to maintain a healthy life after cancer:
- Be Physically Active: It is well known that exercise can improve many aspects of your health, but it is especially important for cancer survivors. Not only does it help control your weight, but it also releases endorphins to fight depression and in some cases may actually reduce your risk of reoccurrence.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: Time to toss out those processed foods and stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Good nutrition has a powerful impact on healing the body, including after cancer. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will not only help you heal, but it can also help your body move with more ease and comfort.
- Follow-Up Visits: It is imperative to attend all follow-up visits your physician recommends in order to monitor any changes in your health. These visits are a good time to check for abnormalities which can help with future prevention and early detection. The time spent following up with your physician also allows you to address any ongoing problems you may still be experiencing post-treatment.
- Focus on Your Emotional Health: Cancer not only affects your physical health but your mental health as well. As each person’s experience with cancer is different, so is their healing process. Some might find comfort in talking to loved ones or another cancer survivor. Others might find creative outlets like painting or meditating to work through their emotions. Whatever it is, you should find healthy ways to express your individual emotional response to your survivorship.
- Stay Stress-Free: We know- it’s easier said than done. After going through a taxing experience like cancer, your body and mind need time to rest. Chronic stress weakens your immune system and can cause further health problems. After completing treatment, avoid additional strain until you’ve found your post-cancer footing. Find activities that make you happy, but know your limitations, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Cancer is a life-changing journey and it is normal to feel lost after completing treatment. With more than 15 million cancer survivors living in the United States today, it is important to know you are not alone and there are endless resources to assist in your recovery. Survivorship is the beginning of your “new normal” and the staff at Southern Cancer Center is here to lessen your anxiety and help you adjust. For additional survivorship resources or to inquire about our survivorship program, call us at 251.625.6896 or talk to your SCC nurses and physician. Together we can get you back on track and back to the things that matter most in your life.