Top 10 Tips for living Cancer-Free
Cancer is one of the most serious diseases women face, with 1 in 29* women being diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 in 36* with cervical cancer – the leading cancer among black women in South Africa. CANSA urges women and female cancer survivors to encourage one another to adopt a balanced lifestyle and to go for regular screenings in order to decrease their cancer risk or the recurrence of cancer.
As women embrace different roles and progress through life, they often put everyone else’s needs first, neglecting themselves in the process. CANSA encourages South African women to take hands in the fight against cancer, by taking responsibility for their personal well-being.
Here are CANSA’s Top 10 Tips for living Cancer-Free…
Eat smart and healthy
Be cancer-smart when choosing, preparing and enjoying food. Avoid processed foods and include lots of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet.
Exercise and manage stress
Live a balanced, active lifestyle. Exercise is essential for building immunity and strength. If you’re fit, managing your day to day responsibilities will be less stressful.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Limit the use of alcohol or avoid it completely and avoid the use of tobacco products.
Limit exposure to the sun
Try to avoid long periods of sun exposure. If you are in the sun for an extended period of time such as at the beach or in the garden remember to wear protective clothing and a hat. Always ensure children are well protected from the sun too. Avoid direct sunlight between 10:00 – 15:00. Wear sunscreen daily on your face and exposed areas such as hands and forearms. Preferably use SPF 30-50 for fair to very fair skins respectively and reapply generously every 2-3 hours to protect against UV rays.
Go for regular screening
Take time to go for regular medical check-ups and screening. Do monthly breast examinations and go for regular Pap smears, every two to three years. Pap smears and breast examinations are important as they help to detect cancer early. The earlier cancer is detected, the higher your chance of surviving cancer. See Women’s Health Infographic and download Leaflets: Breast Cancer | Cervical Cancer.
Establish a support system
Seek the company of those who inspire you, whether family or friends and spend quality time with them.
Find daily inspiration
Feed your mind and soul with daily reflections that uplift you and give purpose and meaning to your life. Prayer and positive meditation can enhance your spiritual well-being.
Nurture a positive attitude and sense of humour
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to keep you focussed on the positive. Laughter is nature’s medicine and strengthens your immunity. So have some fun!
Complete the treatment prescribed by medical and care teams if you are ill.
Go for regular follow-ups
To avoid the recurrence of cancer, you should practice a balanced lifestyle and go for regular medical check-ups even after remission.
CANSA has eight Mobile Health Units which travel to remote areas throughout South Africa to reach people who would otherwise not have access to screening. These include the Pap smear screening test for cervical cancer; breast examinations, as well as other health tests such as cholesterol. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) encourages all women to visit one of their CANSA Care Centres during September and October as part of their Women’s Heath campaign for more information on the screening and treatment of women’s cancers or for more info on female cancers visit www.cansa.org.za or call toll-free 0800 22 66 22.
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