Category Archives: After Cancer

More Suggestions for Creating a Cancer Survivor Manual

Daily Exercise
Daily Exercise

Cancer survivors that work with their cancer treatment team to create a plan for maintaining good health after cancer are most likely to thrive (see our previous post). Working with your Issels Integrative Oncology team to create a long-range lifestyle plan that addresses your physical, mental and nutritional health may both help your enjoy life to its fullest and prevent cancer recurrence.

Today we continue our suggestions for creating a cancer survivor’s manual:

  1. The basic tenets of living a healthy lifestyle should form the core of a cancer survival plan. Discuss an appropriate exercise plan with your doctor and exercise regularly. Start slow, increasing exercise every 2 to 3 weeks as your strength returns. A good goal for most people is 20 minutes of cardio exercise (walking, swimming, etc.) and 30 minutes of resistance training 3 to 5 days a week.
  2. With your medical team, develop a nutrition plan based on an anti-inflammatory diet that boosts your immune system. Many cancer survivor diet plans follow a basic Mediterranean diet which features plenty of antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables, fish high in omega-3s, nuts, beans, whole grains, lean meat and healthy oils. Maintaining a healthy diet can also help you lose weight, further decreasing your risk of cancer return.
  3. Add stress-reduction activities to your daily routine. Learn relaxation techniques such as mindful meditation or progressive muscle relaxation to help keep stress under control. Many cancer survivors find the support and encouragement they need in cancer support groups. Some cancer centers offer after-care programs for cancer survivors to help monitor health and help cancer survivors stay on track.

Create a Survivors’ Manual to Stay Healthy After Cancer

Survivor Action Plan
Survivor Action Plan

When you are actively fighting cancer, the battle is all-consuming. Any excess energy is used up just getting through one day after another. There is little time to think, much less plan, for life after cancer. But experience has shown that cancer survivors who create a long-range post-cancer health plan are more likely to thrive.

With improved early screenings, new cancer vaccines and integrated cancer treatments, your chances of surviving cancer are better than they have ever been before. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are now 13.7 million cancer survivors in the U.S. Sixty-four percent of American cancer survivors have passed their 5-year anniversary, and 40% have lived 10 or more years after winning their battle against cancer. By 2022, NCI expects the number of cancer survivors to reach 18 million. All the more reason to have an after-cancer plan.

To increase your chance of long-term survival, the Institute of Medicine recommends that every cancer survivor work with his or her medical team to create a personalized plan for staying healthy after cancer. To encourage survivors to take this important step for prolonging their lives, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen, authors of the YOU health books, have been promoting what might be called a 5-step “YOU After Cancer” survivorship plan.

  1. Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer should create a survivorship plan. Work with your oncologist and your Issels cancer treatment team to create a personalized plan. Plan building resources and sample survivor plans are available at Some insurance companies may also offer plan writing services.

To be continued