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Practical Tips for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle Beyond Treatment

Cancer treatment takes a toll on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Whether you return to family life and/or work after your treatment, there may be challenges that you should prepare for. Adopting healthy habits post-treatment will help you to face any issues head on and support your mind and body through recovery.

We recently asked our Icon Facebook community to share their personal experiences and advice on lifestyle changes they implemented after finishing cancer treatment. Below are some of the insights they shared.

1. Stay active

Being physically fit and exercising brings https://miksemar.id/ many benefits both during and after treatment, and what lies ahead. Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Exercise can also help manage symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, being active has a direct link to mental wellbeing and the ability to maintain a positive mindset, as many of our community identified.

2. Manage stress

Finding appropriate ways to manage your own stress is critical. Each of us is different, so give various approaches a go to discover what works best for you. Stress-reducing practices like yoga, meditation, breath work, or mindful activities in nature are recognised as being immensely helpful. It is also essential to prioritise self-care, such as getting enough sleep, taking breaks when needed, and setting realistic expectations for yourself (and boundaries with other people).

3. Quit smoking

“I gave up smoking and focussed on staying positive about ongoing issues.”

If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Ask your GP for resources and support to help you quit smoking.

4. Follow a balanced diet

A balanced and thoughtful diet is another critical aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Your diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Limit processed and red meats, sugary drinks, alcohol, and highly processed foods. A dietitian can help you to create a personalised meal plan that suits your nutritional needs and preferences. You can talk to your GP for guidance on how to connect with a dietitian who can best support you.

5. Stay up to date on health screenings and preventative measures

Regular health screenings are important for detecting cancer early and improving treatment outcomes. Your care team will recommend timeframes for follow up screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin checks. It is important to take heed of the advice and keep on track with future check-ups.

Preventative measures are of course paramount – one essential action is to protect your skin from the sun. This supports the prevention of skin cancer and is beneficial for overall wellbeing after treatment (and at any time). Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, wear protective clothing, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours.

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