Eating well, managing stress and exercising are ways to promote your
overall health and cope with any form of cancer.
nutrition is especially important for people undergoing cancer
treatment. But eating well can be difficult if your treatment includes
chemotherapy or radiation therapy. You may feel nauseated or lose your
appetite, and foods may seem tasteless. You may find that the last thing
you want to do is plan meals.
Even so, eating well during cancer treatment can help you maintain your
stamina and your ability to cope with the side effects of treatments.
Good nutrition may also help you prevent infections and remain more
Remember these strategies for eating well when you don't feel well:
Foods high in protein can help build and repair body tissues.
Choices include eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, peanut butter, poultry
and fish. Kidney beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas also are good
sources of protein, especially when combined with rice, corn or
Keep an open
mind about the foods you might eat.
Something that is unappealing today might taste better to you next
When you do
feel well, make the most of it.
Eat as many healthy foods as you can. Prepare meals that you can
easily freeze and reheat. Also look for low-fat frozen dinners and
other prepared foods.
Give meals a
Whenever possible, eat at a table set with attractive dishes and
into the foods you eat.
For example, spread butter, jam or honey on bread. Sprinkle foods
with chopped nuts.
amounts of food more frequently.
If you can't face the thought of a large meal, try eating small
amounts of food more often. Keep fruits and vegetables handy for
Even if you don't feel well, try to stay physically active. A short
walk or climbing the stairs can keep your muscles from deteriorating
due to lack of use.
Methods for reducing physical tension can help you manage stress. One
simple and powerful technique is to close your eyes and notice your
breathing. Pay attention to each inhalation and exhalation. Your
breathing will become slower and deeper, promoting relaxation. Another
technique is to lie down, close your eyes and mentally scan your entire
body for any points of tension.
In addition, activities such as running and swimming, which require
repetitive movements, can produce a mental state similar to that
achieved with meditation. The same is true of yoga and other stretching
Your doctor may have more specific suggestions about how to best care
for yourself before, during and after treatment for ovarian cancer.
diagnosis of cancer can be extremely challenging. Even when a full
recovery is likely, you may worry about a recurrence of the disease. But
no matter what your concerns or prognosis, you're not alone. Here are
some strategies and resources that may make dealing with cancer easier:
Know what to
Find out everything you can about your cancer — type, stage, treatment
options and side effects. The more you know, the more active you can be
in your own care.
Although you may feel tired and discouraged, don't let others —
including your family or your doctor — make important decisions for
you. It's vital that you take an active role in your treatment.
strong support system.
Studies show that strong relationships are crucial for surviving
cancer. Although friends and family can be your best allies, they
may sometimes have trouble dealing with your illness. When this is
the case, the concern and the understanding of a formal support
group or other cancer survivors can be especially helpful. Although
support groups aren't for everyone, they can be a good source of
practical information. You may also find that you develop deep and
lasting bonds with people who are going through the same things you
are. Support groups for the families of cancer survivors are also
Having goals helps you feel in control and can give you a sense of
purpose. But don't choose goals you can't possibly reach. You may
not be able work a 50-hour week, for example, but you may be able
work at least half time. In fact, many people find that continuing
to work can be helpful.
Take time for
Eating well, relaxing and getting enough rest can help combat the
stress and fatigue of cancer. Also, plan ahead for the downtimes
when you may need to rest more or limit what you do.
Look for a
connection to something beyond yourself.
Having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than yourself
seems to be a key factor in coping with and surviving cancer.
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