In addition to your cancer treatment plan, every cancer survivor needs a plan to maintain and improve their physical well-being during and beyond cancer. It’s easy to forget about simple things such as proper nutrition and sleep when in the midst of this challenging journey, yet they can greatly improve your quality of life.
Your physician and clinical team will provide guidance on how to care for yourself when in treatment. Below, Hoag has listed some ways in which you can also maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Studies have shown that tailored nutrition support can greatly benefit cancer patients. When following the guidance of a Registered Dietitian, patients have better maintained energy levels, and complete treatment while preserving quality of life. A dietitian intervention can also help to decrease weight loss during treatment, reduce breaks in treatment, and fewer readmissions into the hospital during treatment.
Good Nutrition Tips
- Do your research to create a nutritious, balanced eating plan
- Choose a variety of foods from all the food groups
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, including dark-green and colorful vegetables
- Eat plenty whole-grain foods, such as breads and cereals
- Choose healthy oils such as olive oil
- Decide on non-fat or low-fat dairy products
- Limit your intake of unhealthy fats and red meat
- Avoid salt-cured, smoked, and pickled foods
- Limit or avoid alcohol
Be sure to check with your doctor for any food or diet restrictions that relate specifically to your situation.
Hoag Nutrition Services
Hoag Family Cancer Institute offers complimentary nutrition services to cancer patients and survivors. Comprised of two registered dietitians, the Cancer Institute dietitian team is dedicated to helping patients meet their nutritional goals and understand the valuable relationship between good nutrition and health.
Learn more about this helpful service, or call 949-764-8369 to schedule an appointment.
Exercise is known to have physical and emotional benefits, but your level of exercise should be discussed and determined by you and your physicians. Fatigue is a common symptom that may require you to adapt your normal activity.
When you are able, it is beneficial to get regular exercise and establish a personalized fitness plan. Your ability to exercise will vary during and after treatment and all factors should be discussed with your physician.
Fitter Image Exercise Program
Hoag offers a variety of exercise classes that are designed to be safe for patients currently being treated for cancer or who have completed treatment. We aim to create a non-competitive and supportive environment with classes such as gentle yoga, Pilates and energizing cardio and toning.
Hoag’s fitter image classes are designed to promote well-being, and personalized for each individual’s abilities.
Getting Proper Sleep
Getting adequate rest and a good night’s sleep are important for good physical and mental health. We know that sleep disturbances are likely but, here are some steps to take that may help improve your sleep:
- Set a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule
- Get daily exercise, but not within 3 hours of retiring to bed
- Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m., or earlier if it still causes problems
- Resist napping in the later afternoon
- Monitor your fluid intake in the evening, don’t drink so much that you’ll be up during the night
- Avoid heavy snacks or alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime
- Reserve your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy. Keep the television and computer out of the bedroom
- Keep the room cool, dark and quiet
- Relax for an hour before bedtime by taking a bath or reading
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing
- If sleep doesn’t come after 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing
If you are still experiencing sleep disturbances, you may benefit from a consultation at the Voltmer Sleep Center which can help evaluate what you are experiencing and make recommendations that may work for you. For more information on the programs available, call 949-764-8070.
Hoag is always here for emotional support along the way. We encourage you to join one of our breast cancer support groups, or seek one-on-one counseling with a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). These open discussion times can be very healing, and you may even connect with another woman with whom you can share experiences.
- Breast Cancer Support Group – Held the third Tuesday of each month, from 12-2 p.m.
- Breast/Gynecologic Cancer Support Group – Held the first Thursday of each month, from 6-7:30 p.m.
- One-On-One Counseling – Please schedule through Cancer Institute at 949-536-7332 .
When you are at Hoag, you’re family, so it’s important to know that you are never alone. We are here for you and want to care for all aspects of you. Please feel free to contact our support services at any time at 949-536-7332 .