Surviving Cancer: A Guide To Healthy Living For Cancer Survivors

Published on: 2018/06/29

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore, India


The importance of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is very well known to us all. While we all take efforts to maintain our health and wellbeing, the same might quite be a tough task for cancer survivors or patients post recovery.

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Surviving cancer, cancer diet, cancer post-recovery

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Surviving Cancer

As traumatic and difficult as it may be, when cancers treatments come to an end, people find themselves at the threshold of a new life. Every patient finds different methods to deal with his/her emotions.  It takes time and practice.

What does it mean to survive cancer?

After the completion of treatment, survivors say they’re unprepared for the reality.  Instead of the expected bounce back into “normal” life, they are faced with isolation from family and friends, financial burden, and a constant anxiety that sickness could return. Dealing with surviving cancer and finishing treatment becomes just the beginning of lifestyle adjustment.

How long do you have to live when you have cancer?

Pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, esophageal cancer – or cancer of the gullet – and stomach cancer have the highest mortality rate.

Around 64% of patients with cancer live beyond five years. Cancer survival rates often have a five-year timeline. That doesn’t mean cancer can’t recur after five years. Certain cancers can recur many years after first being found and treated. For some cancers, the chance of a later recurrence is marginal, in case it has not recurred by five years after initial diagnosis.

Even with insurance coverage, cancer takes a crippling toll on finances. The psychological effects of surviving cancer are also huge. Patients usually find the strength to deal with their condition when they are going through it. Once it’s over, they realize that all the emotions that had been held back for so long, bubble up to the surface making them emotionally vulnerable.  

The question now isn’t how to survive cancer? But, how to survive, surviving cancer? Take few simple steps.

  • Find guidance about taking care of your health
  • Being aware that recurrence of cancer is not under your control
  • Practice letting go of your fears
  • Talk to friends or family members about your feelings and fears
  • Live in the present and let go of the past
  • Focus on the positive aspects of your health. Begin by making healthy diet changes.
  • Find ways to relax
  • Being physically active is great for the mind.
  • Control what you can, your thoughts being the most important. Think and feel positive.

Read more – A guide to healthy living for Cancer survivors by Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Fortis Hospital.