Many cancer survivors face a new set of challenges and unknowns after the last chemotherapy infusion or radiation therapy. Just going through the treatments was already exhausting, but now what? For some, a series of emotions, such as fear, anxiety, gratitude and confusion may come flooding in. Am I done with cancer? Will it ever come back? What else can I do, or what should I do now? Your oncologists may offer you to stay on some medication for a few years and put you on a screening schedule to help early detection in case if cancer comes back. What is often not addressed or can be improved is to heal from the trauma of disease and its treatment physically and emotionally. Support after conventional cancer treatment is essential to healing.
Support after conventional cancer treatment
There is a two-part process that we need to focus on after treatments. The first is to replenish the body with nutrients and to restore balance in bodily process. Conventional cancer therapies do not just kill the cancer cells but also the normal healthy cells in the body. This is why patient suffer tremendous side effect from these toxic drugs. Therefore, it is critical to have a nutrient-dense diet and take a high-quality multivitamin, minerals and antioxidant supplements for a period of time to provide the body the fuel and building blocks to support and hasten the recovery process. There are many products available on the market that people can choose from. It is important that you choose reputable brands and manufacturers who follow Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) and have a third party tester for quality assurance. Do not blindly trust claims made by the companies. Consult health professionals who are knowledgeable in nutraceuticals for sound advise.
Detox to recovery
The second part of support after conventional cancer treatment is detoxification. After finishing their treatments, some people complain about feeling “toxic” or having symptoms of joint pain, muscle ache, headache, fatigue, constipation and mood changes. Because chemotherapies and radiation treatments cause damage to cells, our immune system naturally responds by cleaning up the destroyed tissues, and this cleanup process involves release of a large amount of inflammatory chemicals. This inflammation will subside over time, but detoxification can help facilitate and speed up the process. The detoxification process should be supervised by qualified healthcare professionals who can provide safe and effective protocols. Be aware of programs that offer prolong fasting, because prolong fasting can be counterproductive since it takes away nutrients that body needs for healing. The focus of the detoxification is to re-establish the foundation of health by proper and adequate eating, exercise, sweating, sleep and bowel movements. Herbal products or supplements should be used as helpful aides rather than primary tools. Surviving cancer and its treatment is a milestone in life. Learning how to embrace, grow and transform from that journey can empower us from the victims of the disease to thrivers of meaningful and beautiful lives. May every cancer survivor to be the inspiration of the world.
Dr. Sherry Su is a specialist in cancer support. To learn more about high blood pressure and what you can do about it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Su today.