We can help you on your journey to wellness.
From the moment you were diagnosed, you started a new life — one as a cancer survivor. Life after cancer is going to be different. You may be wondering what’s next. We can teach you what you can do to improve your physical and emotional health, and help you find the information you need to stay healthy and have a great life.
Let stress take a breather.
Many people do not have experience dealing with cancer and the concerns that come with it, which can lead to high levels of stress. To relieve stress, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends the following:
- Deep-breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Yoga, tai chi, or other mindful exercises
- Creative activities involving art, music, or dance
- Joining a support group, where you can share your thoughts and concerns
Learn more about what you can do to relieve stress:
Eat right to recover faster.
Eating right can help you achieve a healthy body weight, maintain strength, and recover faster by supporting your immune system. To get the proper amount of nutrition, the ACS suggests that you do the following:
- Stay lean, keeping a low amount of fat on your body.
- Eat at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
- Limit alcoholic drinks to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
- Eat more whole grains and legumes.
Learn more about healthy eating as a cancer survivor:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 800-877-1600
- American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) 800-843-8114
- The Cancer Nutrition Center 310-766-8597
- The Cancer Project
Exercise to move beyond cancer.
Exercise can strengthen muscles and bones, improve your heart health, fight infections, improve your balance, reduce stress, help you sleep better, and help prevent or lessen the effects of other diseases. Follow these physical activity guidelines for adults, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Perform at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
- Exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time, spread throughout the week if possible.
- Aim for 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity exercise, or 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise.
- Perform muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups 2 or more days a week
Learn more about physical activity:
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Profinder
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
- American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) 800-843-8114
- National Lymphedema Network (NLN) 800-541-3259
- Livestrong at the YMCA
Quit smoking to reduce your chance of getting a second cancer.
You have a higher chance of getting a second cancer at the same or another site if you don’t quit smoking. Smoking can alter genes, harm your lungs, damage your immune system, and make treatments less effective or side effects worse. Many organizations, such as the CDC and the ACS, offer these tips to quit:
- Set your smoking quit date.
- Write down why you want to quit.
- Don’t use other forms of tobacco instead of cigarettes.
- Make smoke-free rules for your home and car.
- Find other ways to relieve stress.
- Find and avoid your smoking triggers.
- Talk to your health care provider or dentist about getting help.
- Check your insurance policy for coverage of medication and counseling to help you quit.
- Get support.
- Keep trying.
Get help to quit smoking:
Keep up with recommended cancer screenings.
After treatment ends, it’s important to stay up to date on any screenings your cancer treatment team recommends. By scheduling routine checkups and getting cancer screenings, you can stay in charge of your health. If a new condition or cancer recurrence is found, it can be addressed early, when it is most treatable.
Delaware-specific resources for cancer survivors.
There are programs in Delaware designed specifically to help cancer survivors find support, quit smoking, coordinate care, navigate treatment options, and make wellness part of their cancer-fighting journey.
Get healthier now by accessing these Delaware programs:
- 2-1-1 — Call 2-1-1 toll-free. Get answers to questions about any Delaware program.
- DE Tobacco Quitline — Get help from counselors — in person or over the phone — who are trained to help you quit smoking.
- Quit Support — Online help to quit smoking using proven methods.
- Cancer Care Connection — Help in navigating services provided by other organizations. Working with a Cancer Resource Coach, you will have a personalized plan for “next steps.”
- Cancer Support Community — Support groups, educational sessions, and health and wellness programs offered free of charge to anyone affected by cancer, including patients, caregivers, loved ones, and children.
- Cancer Care Coordinators — Free help, emotional support, and services through all the stages of treatment.
- Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition — Free support, education, and services for breast cancer survivors.
- Cancer Thriving and Surviving Self-Management Program — Free six-week sessions to help those who are dealing with life after cancer learn how to live a healthier life.
Information from national experts to help you on your journey:
- CDC Cancer Survivor Website — The CDC online resource for cancer patients and survivors, cancer caregivers, and health care providers
- Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment — A National Cancer Institute publication that includes information about the new normal after treatment, follow-up care, and more.
- Survivorship Care Plans — Valuable information from the American Cancer Society about understanding your diagnosis, treatments, side effects, caregivers, and more.
- ASCO Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Care (ASCO) Plans — A convenient way to store information about your cancer, cancer treatment, and follow-up care from the ASCO.
- Life After Cancer — A guide developed by the American Cancer Society to help cancer survivors understand how to move forward with their lives.