Diet and lifestyle changes after cancer treatment can improve overall health.
A diagnosis of cancer is shocking news, but it can create a teachable moment for the patient. “Think about what changes do I need to make to improve my chances of survival and to improve my overall well-being and my ability to cope with my disease,” suggests Kevin Stein, director of the American Cancer Society’s behavioral research center.
Cancer patients first go through a period where rest is critical: the intensive phase of treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy. At this time, it’s important to follow the advice of your oncologist and other providers of medical care, said Linda Nebeling, deputy associate director of the behavioral research program at the National Cancer Institute.
The changes that survivors need to make after treatment are mostly the common-sense steps for good health that are suggested for a variety of conditions. Many groups offer diet and exercise recommendations similar to the following, from the American Cancer Society’s “Lifestyle Changes That Make a Difference,” a guide for patients, and “Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors.”