People do emerge from their encounter with cancer and go back to their regular lives after they finish the active treatment of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Up to 65 percent of adults that were diagnosed with cancer, and up to 92 percent of children, will live longer than 5 years after first being diagnosed with the disease.
The constant fear
As a result, there are about 12 million survivors in the US, but most patients’ live with the constant fear of the cancer coming back; they’re mostly concerned with how they can prevent it from happening to them again. On the other hand, much of the physicians’ attention is focused on researching ways to find the earliest signs of cancer when it returns, so that the disease can be diagnosed as early as possible. And that’s certainly an important goal. But the bottom line is how can we prevent a recurrence and prolong survival- not just catching it early if it happens.
Patients don’t want to just passively wait and do nothing, hoping they won’t get sick again. What they want is more active options. Although plenty of books have been devoted to helping people prevent cancer for the first time, very few resources are available to show cancer survivors how to improve their wellness and quality of life after treatments, as well as touch the possibility of preventing recurrence of the disease. Unfortunately very little research is available on this issue, but it seems that some complementary approaches have potential to address this need.
We will try to cover what more people can do in addition to conventional care, covering multiple aspects of life including
nutrition, supplements, physical activity, complementary therapies that can be beneficial as well as addressing very important issues related to mind- body and spirit.
Link to Dean Ornish talk in MD Anderson
Link to Survivorship site American Cancer Society
A 5-step combo to prevent and recover from cancer
2012 Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors
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