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Cancer Survivors : How to Prevent Cancer Recurrence

Every cancer survivor knows the all-consuming dread that cancer will come back. It’s a haunting fear that never really goes away, even when you convince yourself “they got it all,” or you hear the words “cancer free,” or you’re told you’re one of the lucky ones with a low risk of cancer recurrence.

Yet every time the tests roll around, the fear is back again with a vengeance.

One thing that might help is knowing that you’re not powerless, that there’s more that you can do than just sitting around waiting for your test results. Scientists released definitive proof this week that specific lifestyle changes can cut the risk of recurrence for various cancers and boost your long-term survival rate significantly.

Cancer recurrence doesn’t just happen randomly; there are numerous ways survivors can cut their chances of recurrence with some simple:

cancer survivor, cancer recurrence, cancer recur, Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou

1. Eat primarily fruit, vegetables and whole grains, supplemented by fish and poultry.

Several convincing studies of breast cancer survivors have shown that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and fish is associated with a lower risk of death than one that contains lots of saturated fat, refined grains, sugar, and high-fat dairy products.

cancer survivor, cancer recurrence, cancer recur, Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou

2. Eat as little red and processed meat as you can manage.

Eating a healthy diet low in red and processed meat appears to protect against cancer progression, risk of recurrence, and overall survival for a variety of cancers. In particular, a fondness for processed and red meats such as bacon, sausage, ham, and prepackaged lunch meat is tied to a higher risk of colon cancer and several other cancers.

cancer survivor, cancer recurrence, cancer recur, Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou

3. Exercise several times a week or more, rain or shine.

Regular exercise following treatment for breast, prostate, ovarian, and colorectal cancers is associated with a lower risk for recurrence and improved survival.

4. If you can’t manage strenuous exercise, take it slowly, but do it anyway.

Moderate exercise during cancer treatment reduces anxiety and fatigue and raises self-esteem and optimism. Exercise also boosts muscle strength, endurance, and heart health, fortifying the body to endure the rigors of cancer treatment.

5. Lose weight to get as close to a normal BMI (body mass index) as possible.

Cancer survivors who are overweight or obese have a higher rate of recurrence than their counterparts whose weight is within the normal range. Those who’ve successfully lost weight and kept it off following cancer treatment show the effort pays off in lower recurrence and death rates.

*Surgery, in addition to the appropriate chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are effective in treating early cancer, but certain patients in late stage of cancer may not be tolerate surgery well as they can be relatively weak. A combination of carefully planned minimally invasive therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy can effectively reduce the side effects and discomfort of treatment and may help patient get better efficacy.

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