Six simple lifestyle changes to improve the lives of cancer patients

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When you are a cancer patient, you will have many pain, fear, and worries about yourself, your family, and your finances. This will make you unhappy, and you will forget to enjoy life. You should leave all your worries behind and get the consultation for the best hospital for cancer treatment in Coimbatore.

We understand the quality of your life has been affected in many ways as you were undergoing treatment. Chemotherapy, surgery, pain and side effects treatment had taken a toll on your joy. You can improve your quality of life with a bit of extra advice from our surgical oncologists.

How you live has a pro­found effect on your health and wellness. A healthy lifestyle always supports cancer treatments and helps you feel better. It will also improve your long-term health. But what exactly is healthy living?

Healthy living means making some positive behavior changes, making it part of your ongoing life, and carrying it on as a life-long process. A positive lifestyle in addition to medication can work wonders for you. The following simple six lifestyle changes are beneficial for cancer patients.

1. Get enough sleep
Seven to nine hours of peaceful sleep is necessary for overall good health. Studies have shown that sleep not only reduces weakness and fatigue but also improves mood and concentration. If you are facing difficulty in sleeping, try few things like:

● Take a warm water bath just before sleep. Bathing relaxes the tensed muscle, and you will feel sleepy.
● Avoid using electronic gadgets before sleep, like mobile phones, laptops, or TV.
● Ensure complete darkness in your room.
● Go to bed early and read a book till you feel sleepy.
● Have dinner at least 2 hours prior before you go to sleep. Avoid spicy and fatty food at dinner. These foods cause acidity and heartburn and will keep you awake due to discomfort.
● Avoid drinks like tea and coffee before going to bed. Drink milk.
● Keep the temperature of the bedroom slightly cool. A slight drop in the body temperature can induce sleep.

2. Be physically active
It is necessary to participate in some physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight. It is best to talk to your oncologist before you begin any physical activity. Regular exercise will reduce fatigue and help improve your muscle strength. Usually, cancer patients show muscle loss as well balance loss during treatment.

Here are few tips for you
● Develop a fitness routine.
● Include strength training and stretching exercises. Stretching will help you to improve your flexibility and posture. It improves blood and oxygen flow to the muscles that in turn helps your body repair.
● Try aerobic activities as they increase heart pumping.
● Practice breathing and balance exercises.

However, before joining any exercise program, get advice from our oncologists on which physical activity suits your health condition.

3. Eat healthy food
Choose your food wisely. A healthy diet would help you recover quickly from the damages caused by cancer chemotherapy and improve overall health. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has given few guidelines for the diet of cancer patients. Few important hints are as follows:

● Eat nutritious food that gives enough vitamins, minerals, and fibres to your body.
● Add fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, poultry, and nuts to your diet.
● Simultaneously, cut down on dairy fats, red meat, sweets, and sweetened drinks.
● Maintain an energy balance by burning out the calories you eat.
● Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking more quantities of alcohol may lead to other severe health conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure, and many more severe health complications.

4. Manage stress levels

Although physical health is important, don’t neglect your mental health. Try to cope with stressful situations. While cancer is now the most typical condition that affects many people, stress is a significant contributor. Stress may affect your behavior in such a way that you may indulge in overeating or not doing any physical activity. Stress also increases the risk of other diseases like high blood pressure. Manage your stress levels through relaxation using guided imagery, meditation, and yoga. You need to spend at least 20 minutes every day on different stress management techniques.

● Spend some time in the morning walk. Go outside in the park early morning for jogging.
● Socialize with your family and friends.
● Learn some new hobbies. When you keep yourself engaged in some challenging activity, it will distract you from your worries.

5. Avoid exposure to environmental toxins.
It would be best if you avoid exposure to environmental pollutants like smoke and exhaust gases. Tobacco smoke, asbestos dust, formaldehyde, styrene, and many more such chemicals are present in the polluted air. These agents cause cancer and chronic lung diseases, deteriorate your health, and slow the recovery process.
Avoid going out in scorching sunlight because sun rays also cause skin damage and increase your risk of getting cancer.

6. Accept palliative care

Palliative care is emotional support. Cancer treatment disturbs you physically, mentally, and emotionally. In such a case, palliative care will help you build your mental strength. Research has proved that emotional support during treatment makes cancer patients happy and satisfied with the treatment. How can you get it?
● Without any hesitation, ask for help.
● Find someone who will listen to you.
● Join a support group. Sharing problems with others and listening to their experiences will make you feel better.

So, what are you waiting for?

If you happen to be in South India, Sri Ramakrishna Hospital is one of the few cancer care centers in South India, that offer specialty care for cancer patients.

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