Survivorship

Little Red Door Cancer Agency strongly believes in the importance of discussing and celebrating cancer survivorship. This page includes some tips and resources for cancer survivors everywhere.

 

Complementary Therapies at Little Red Door:

Little Red Door offers free therapeutic massage and yoga classes for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers through our Door to Wellness program every Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We offer a variety of services including yoga, cooking and gardening classes, as well as massages to promote wellness and healthy living.

 

Massage:

If you are experiencing residual symptoms from your cancer treatment, massage therapy is an effective way to combat those symptoms. Massage therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression and pain in cancer patients and survivors. There are many other benefits of massage therapy, including improved sleep, relaxation and immune function.

Yoga:

Practicing yoga not only benefits your physical health as a cancer survivor, but can also improve your mental health and emotional well-being. By emphasizing breathing and awareness, yoga may help you cope with anxiety and emotions post-treatment. LRD offers hatha, chair and restorative yoga. Yoga can help you find meaning in illness and provide a variety of health benefits.

 

What You Need to Know:

We talk a lot about preventing cancer before it ever occurs, but it’s equally important to talk about preventing the recurrence of cancer! A study found that cancer survivors who followed standard American Cancer Society guidelines for healthy living were 42 percent less likely to die than similar survivors who didn’t. By making healthy lifestyle choices and taking care of your body, you boost your chances of surviving cancer and preventing it from coming back.

 

Tobacco:

-The use of tobacco increases unwanted side effects of chemo like fatigue, weight loss, weakening of the muscles and problems with the heart and lungs.
-It also increases risk for secondary cancers, infections and damages the immune system.
-Cancer treatment becomes less effective after tobacco use because smoking reduces oxygen in the blood, making it harder for the drugs to travel in the blood stream and harder for the body to absorb it.

 

Diet:

-Individuals consuming diets rich in fruits and vegetables and sparse in meat and animal fat have lower rates of cancer re-occurrence.
-Try to eat a variety of foods. One meal should consist of half your plate being cooked or raw vegetables, one quarter being lean protein, and the other quarter being whole grain.
-Swap out red meats for fish and poultry.
-Limit alcohol intake.
 

 

Physical Activity:

-Maintaining a health body weight is important during treatment. Women who gain 13+ pounds during treatment for early-stage breast cancer are 1.5 times more likely to experience a cancer re-occurrence.
-Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity or a combination of the two each week.
-Light: housework, shopping, gardening
-Moderate: brisk walk, yoga, canoeing, mowing the lawn
-Vigorous: Running, bicycling, swimming, digging

 

Screenings:

-Survivors are at a higher risk for secondary cancers or a re-occurrence of the same type of cancer compared to people who have never fought cancer before.
-It is for this reason that survivors should actively fulfill screening guidelines given to them by their doctors to catch cancer growth early.

 

 

 

 

Other Complementary Therapies:

-With acupuncture, survivors can experience a relief from pain, control of nausea, and reduction in drug side effects.

Spirituality has been shown to aid with coping skills, stress and other burdens that accompany a cancer diagnosis.

-For some cancers, exercise has even been shown to lower your risk of recurrence compared to those who are inactive.

-As a cancer survivor, you may experience trouble sleeping due to anxiety, treatment side effects or physical changes that have resulted from the cancer.

 

Other Support:

-The American Cancer Society has created a Cancer Survivors Network to connect those with similar stories and help you find emotional support at your fingertips.

Support groups can help connect people with similar struggles and may give cancer survivors a sense of purpose as they transition into a new period of their life.