Cancer is a disease which doesn’t just affect the patient, but the people around him/her too. Surviving cancer is the ultimate goal of the victims of this horrific ailment. But the fear of cancer doesn’t leave the survivor even after defeating it. Every cancer survivor’s nightmare is that cancer might return in their lives. Studies have proven that a survivor’s health habits, such as food, fitness, and lifestyle post-traumatic cancer treatments play a heavy role in determining the recurrence of cancer. Healthy habits that one might inculcate could be more effective than even medication, with absolutely no negative side effects.
Not all types of cancer come back but some of them may still do. When cancer comes back after a certain period of time, which varies from weeks, months, or years after the primary cancer treatment, it is called ‘recurrence’. And cancer recurrence happens because some cancer cells could have left behind in the body despite the best efforts to get rid of them. These cells could be present in the same place where the cancer was first originated or could be any other part of the body. These cells remain dormant for a period of time but start multiplying and spreading eventually.
This dread of cancer rearing its ugly head is devastating but what must be remembered that instead of waiting for cancer to come back, making specific lifestyle changes can not only reduce the risk of cancer recurrence but also boost the long-term survival rates.
• Eat a healthy diet containing primarily vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain, and supplement it with poultry and fish. Make your plate as colorful as possible and stay away from saturated fat, refined sugar, and high-fat dairy products.
• Keeping a diet low in red meat and any kind of processed meat protects one against the progression of cancer, cancer recurrence, and the health of the survivor as a whole.
• Exercising is not favoured by many but in this case, diligently exercising can become a major factor in cutting down the recurrence risk while increasing the survival rate. Plus, moderate exercises during cancer treatment not only helps boost muscle strength and endurance but also with anxiety and fatigue. So, any forms of exercise carried out on a daily basis will only help down the line.
• Keeping one’s weight close to the average BMI (Body Mass Index) is also important. Studies have shown that people who have lost excess weight and kept it off following the cancer treatment have lower recurrence risk.
Cancer recurrence doesn’t happen randomly. Years of research have proved that the lifestyle choices we make can make a world of difference. Instead of feeling powerless, one must gather their fighting spirit and choose to live life fearlessly.