An unfamiliar mark or on your skin, an irritable cough or just that uneasy feeling residing within every cell of your body and immediately you cant help but think your cancer is back! Unfortunately a fear that you might have for the rest of your life, however one that can be controlled to a great extent. Recurrence rates are rising and rising rapidly due to various reasons, such as an increase in ageing populations, medical advancements in detection and screening, or not adhering to lifestyle changes. Now lifestyle is an area that can be controlled and managed so effectively that no other factors should matter at all. This is where you take healing into your own hands and implement changes in your lifestyle that will hopefully never allow cancer to occur again.
So what can you do?
- Nutrition – food is something you ingest 3 or more times into your body every single day of your life. It directly influences the health of your organs, blood, musculature, digestive system and immune system, amongst everything else. It is so imperative to healing and recovery that a bad dietary intake most definitely will cause some kind of disruption in your body. Alkaline foods, low animal protein, controlled amounts of dairy, no sugar, fiber rich and hydrating foods should make up majority of your diet.
- Movement – moving is healing. We think incorporating movement into our lives is predominantly for losing weight or looking a certain way physically, however the truth is that movement is vital and does much more than that. Movement is what keeps our fat levels down (high fat levels are linked to certain cancers, such as breast cancer), strengthens immunity and contributes to a healthy digestive and lymphatic system (the root cause to many ailments, including lymph, colon and stomach cancers). Yoga therapy, walking, swimming or playing any sports that tests your cardiovascular system and strength training is great.
- Mind-body therapy- no I’m not referring to sitting on top of a mountain in the hopes to reach a state of nirvana. I am referring to the detrimental affect cortisol levels have on our immunity and hence the risk of being exposed to recurrence or in that case, any other ailments. Because whether you like it or not, stress has an affect on the body. High levels of stress or a disturbed emotional state releases cortisol into the body and chronic levels of cortisol that are present for a long amount of time is a recipe for disaster. So whether you do sit on that mountain, listen to music, speak to a counsellor (sometimes a professional can have the best options), gardening, cooking, meditating or any other effective way to deal with stress, use it because you will need it more that you think.
This is called integrative healing. This when you give yourself the best chance for living a healthy life again and combating the risk and fear of recurrence.