With treatment and healthy living, cancer can go into remission. This means that it is no longer active in the body and all cancer cells are gone. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the cancer will not return. However, there are things that can be done to live a healthier life and make it more difficult for cancer cells to grow. The best practice is to live healthy during treatment as well as when you are in remission. Follow these tips to keep healthy.
Healthy diet. Eating healthy means that your body receives all the necessary nutrients and vitamins that help it fight illness. Your body will also need to build up some strength after treatments. Treatments like chemotherapy can be very harsh on the body. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a must. Try to avoid processed and high-fat foods.
Exercise. Keeping active is essential for being healthy. Your body needs to move to help reduce anxiety and fatigue, improve the health of your heart, maintain a healthy weight, and build muscle strength. You should check with your doctor which exercises you can and cannot do. Simple exercise like walking for 30 minutes everyday will more often than not be sufficient.
Deal with emotions. Cancer treatments, the journey during and after cancer can be very taxing and emotional. Having a good support team will do wonders. Family and friends are there to support you. You can also join a support group and write down what you are feeling in a journal.
No smoking. If you are a smoker, now would be a good time to quit and avoid secondhand smoke. This will help your body recover faster.
Sun protection. Stay out of the sun and when you need to be in the sun, wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Hats, scarves, and umbrellas are also handy to protect your skin.
The doctors. Keep in touch with your health care team. They are there to help you and arrange check-ups and check for signs of cancer coming back.
These guidelines should be practiced before, during and after treatments to increase the chance and rate of recovery.
Cancer is something that we still don’t know enough about. We know a lot, but we don’t know how to cure it. Because of this, there are several different treatments that cancer patients can undergo. These treatments are often used in some combination. The treatment that a patient receives will depend on the stage of cancer, the patient’s age, the type of cancer, health status, and some other characteristics. Here are the most used treatment options:
Surgery. This treatment is mostly only effective if cancer has not spread yet. If the cancer is centralized, doctors can operate to remove the cancer cells or tumor. This is why the prostate or breasts are often removed to cut out cancer cells and prevent spreading.
Radiation. This treatment uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. In previous years, this treatment caused more damage than good because it also targeted the healthy cells. With today’s technology, however, the rays can be better positioned to target only the bad cells.
Chemotherapy. This treatment is controversial in some ways as people believe it causes patients to get more sick. It works by introducing a cocktail of chemicals into the body. These chemicals then travel through the body and inhibit the cell division process. This treatment is usually used when cancer has already started spreading through the body. It is a necessary treatment for some cancers like leukemia. Chemotherapy happens in cycles to give the body time to heal.
Immunotherapy. Some of the immunotherapy treatments are still young in development. The basic idea of this treatment is to strengthen the immune system. A treatment is injected into a specific area where it causes inflammation and the tumor to shrink. Bone marrow transplants can also be seen as an immunotherapy treatment.
Hormone therapy. Cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer have been linked to hormonal changes in the body. For this reason, hormone therapy is used to change the production of the hormones involved. This causes the cancer cells to stop growing or die.
These basic methods of treatment are what is commonly used. There are natural alternatives that have proven effective as well. An oncologist will give you advice on treatments.
In past years more than 200 types of cancer have been identified. Some are more severe and deadly than others. We take a look at the most common types of cancer that are diagnosed today.
Non-melanoma skin cancer affects more than 1 million people every year. The cancer cells form in the skin. Squamous skin cancer is found in the cells on top of the skin. Basal cell skin cancer forms in cells deeper under the skin. The most common reason for skin cancer to develop is extensive or dangerous exposure to the sun.
Lung cancer is one of the more dangerous cancers as it forms in the lining of the lungs. We use our lungs to breathe and stay alive. This is why it is so dangerous. More than 150 000 people die of this type of cancer every year.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. There are different factors that can lead to the development of breast cancer. It can be genetic or the result of unhealthy habits and ingesting cancer-causing chemicals. Despite popular belief, men can also get breast cancer. Approximately 2000 men are diagnosed every year.
This is the most common type of cancer in men. The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. Cancer develops inside the prostate gland. This is most common in men over 50 years of age.
This is also a type of skin cancer. It forms in the melanocyte cells of the skin. These cells produce the pigment melanin. This type of cancer often starts in moles and can also form in the intestines or eyes. It forms where there is a lot of pigment present.
There are different types of leukemia. Leukemia is commonly known as blood cancer. It forms inside the bone marrow or other cells that produce blood cells. Leukemia affects both adults and children and claims more children under the age of 20 than any other type of cancer.
For more information about cancer types, visit our Useful Resources page.