I’m coming toward the end of my cancer treatments. Should I consider making any lifestyle changes?

Many cancer patients take the time after diagnosis to reevaluate different areas in their life and possibly make changes to improve not only their health, but their quality of life.

The National Cancer Institute emphasizes that cancer not only affects a patient’s physical life, but “it can affect the way you feel, think and the things you like to do.”

Many patients become much more aware of their health and take steps to improve it after a cancer diagnosis. They might begin to exercise more, eat healthier foods, quit smoking or develop better sleep habits. Others might reevaluate life goals, move into a different career field, develop a deeper relationship with people or get finances in order.

NCI suggest asking yourself questions such as: Who do I like to be with? Who makes me laugh? How do I want to spend my time? What makes me feel happy? What are my passions? What types of things do I enjoy the most or least? Is there something I want to do that I’ve never tried?

Many cancer patients will face new questions or a deepening of their spiritual beliefs. Some patients will also want to give back and help others, as they have been helped. They might volunteer or help fundraise for organizations.

Take time to evaluate any shifts in your beliefs since your diagnosis and any life changes you’d like to make.

For more information, contact Courtney Britton, librarian at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, at (225) 927-2273, cbritton@cancerservices.org, or visit the Education Center at 550 Lobdell Ave., Baton Rouge.

ä Internet Resources:

Coping with Cancer: Supportive and Palliative Care – NCI, cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping

Life after Cancer – ASCO, cancer.net/survivorship/life-after-cancer

This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.