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Public Group active 4 years, 9 months ago ago

A group for survivors. Tell your stories and discuss your plans.

Cancer cause and lifestyle change (6 posts)

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    “Vices are their own punishment”
    Aesop quotes
    “Vice is its own reward”
    Quentin Crisp

    Whichever quote you choose to believe, some lifestyle excesses, are associated with development of cancer. Commonly linked vices and cancers include smoking and lung,kidney and cervix cancer; obesity and uterine and breast cancer; high fat diet and colon and breast cancer; sexually transmitted infection and cervical and penile cancer. There is scientific evidence that changing to a healthier lifestyle can decrease risk of these cancers or reduce them from coming back if you’ve previously been diagnosed.

    We medical practitioners, despite knowing better, sometimes avoid the whole issue. Either embarrassment, higher priority issues, or lack of time lead to avoiding this whole discussion. So I ask you the survivors: Is there ever a good time to bring this up? Do you already know these links and prefer to also avoid this discussion? Would you heed the advice of lifestyle change? Or is this discussion truly a waste of time?

  • Profile picture of karen getz karen getz said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    For myself to introduce lifestyle changes when getting a cancer diagnosis would have been a waste of time because I was so focused on the treatments and getting through all the diagnostic testing. I think doctors need to start introducing these lifestyle changes before we get sick . They need to instruct us as well as our parents on how to start living healthier. I have always been very overweight. And it started when I was a child and my parent fed me to comfort me and the habit continued to get worse. Then cancer happened and I was unable to eat for quite a few months(which would have been more of a problem if weighed less because I lost weight).
    Anyway, I can not recall a doctor ever giving me instruction on ways to live a healthier way. Just heard a lot of you need to loose weight ect ect.
    It was only recently that I have incorporated healthier eating habits because like most of us we finally said hey I do not want to take another pill or take something that will cause me more side affects.
    I believe it is more affective to give patients resources if they want to take advantage of them then they can ask more questions. But we need to be educated on how to go about all this. Our local cancer community center start offering cooking healthier classes with the cancer patient in mind and I think this is great. Classes demonstrate and group involvement allows one on one interaction and support. I really think cancer treatment and lifestyle changes discussions need to be made with each individual patient and what would work for me could be more stressful or more helpful to another. So really important for doctors to know their patients needs.
    I must share this story. I know of someone who has always had a healthy lifestyle;eats healthy;exercises;truly takes care of their body physical,spiritually and mentally but was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and shocked and asking How did or could this be happening to me. So even if you do all the “right” things Cancer can still sneak in. And Cancer will take lives.
    I have chosen to eat healthier now years after my cancer experience because I have been educated to the benefits on my overall health. I have lost weight and inches. Have all my health problems disappeared? No, but like my nutritionist told me once Just imagine how you may have felt before you started eating healthier. Life has struggles and obstacles that we need to go through or around. For me I do not walk alone for my Lord and Savior is right beside me pushing me forward;picking me up and getting me back on track on this journey called Life.
    I love the name of this website Journey through Cancer because it reminds me their is Life after Cancer and for me it has been much brighter.

  • Profile picture of Lyn Smith Lyn Smith said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    Once again Rick you have come up with a really good topic and Karen has made some very valid points.
    Most people, I think, would know the many risk factors and possible causes of cancer, smoking, nutrition, overweight, exposure to sun etc. and I also think that it must be extremely hard for the medical profession to have to treat those who continue, even after diagnosis, to flirt with danger.
    A patient feels bad enough after a diagnosis and is trying to desperately process everything that is happening, so I dont know that letting them know the possible cause and making suggestions about lifestyle changes is going to be all that well received at this point unless the patient specifically asks for it. Maybe at some place down the track it can be raised.
    Like Karen I also know many who have done all the right things all their lives and still this disease attacks them.
    I have been thinking about those I know who have been through this experience either as the patient or carer and yet still continue to take risks, particularly the smokers and sunbathers.
    There is no rhyme or reason really, one lady I know who did everything right was rediagnosed, as was one who continues to smoke.
    Support groups are another way of educating and informing members of their choices.
    I carry more weight than I should, and it does concern me. However, whilst not making excuses I know that it is not through overeating or eating the wrong things, but due to lack of exercise. With a degenerative spinal condition, it is hard to exercise the way I should, but at least I try and keep as active as I can. I do not smoke [although I did pre-diangosis] and I limit my time in the sun.
    Perhaps we, the patient, just need to become more proactive about our own health and not leave it up to the Drs to do it all for us.
    Take care everyone

  • Profile picture of Rena Bird Rena Bird said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    I already knew the risk factors for cancer and made some changes but got breast cancer anyway. I think we all do the best we can with what we have. My concern is adding blame and shame to an already full plate of treatment and all that goes with it. My doctors have chosen to treat me as an intelligent and well informed person who is doing all I can to make it through this challenge and have a life beyond cancer.

    The fact is lifestyle is one of many factors that contribute to cancer. We can do all the right things, eat all the right foods, be active, and still get sick. One way or another no one lives forever. It is how we choose to make our journeys and answer the trials that is important to me.

    I want my doctors to cheer me on, to give me the best options and choices, not tell me how I “got cancer.” I don’t think it’s possible to blame any one factor or action for why we get sick. No one has all the answers.

  • Profile picture of Cathy Schuyler Cathy Schuyler said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    I agree with Rena. Anyone who is overweight is aware of it and suffers every day when they look in the mirror. It is enough to come to terms with a cancer diagnosis. I know I feel better about myself in every way when I exercise and when I weigh less and I know I’m the only one who can do anything about that. I just need to flip that switch in my head. I hope this is the year I am able to do it.

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 5 years, 11 months ago:

    I had an twitter exchange from a gentleman who was adamant that these issues be brought up by the physician. And he was glad his doctor did because it resulted in a healthier lifestyle for him (weight loss) that allowed him be proactive and do more in his survivorship.

    My experiences have been more in line with the conversation here. Whatever lifestyle issue that is in some way associated with the cancer (obesity and uterine and breast cancer; sexually transmitted infection in cervix, vulvar, penile cancer; alcohol and esophagus cancer: smoking and lung,kidney,cervical,vulvar,bladder caner;and the list goes on), whatever “vice” that could be reduced, the cancer patient knows it already and has accepted the consequence. There is little desire to stop the behavior even with programs with known successes.

    I don’t really think it’s embarrassment or guilt or “just deserts”. To me, it seems like just one more thing on the cancer “to do” list that is long enough already. Perhaps it’s a timing issue and should be brought up upon completion of treatment. There never seems to be a good time and I have rarely been successful in convincing someone to change behavior if they weren’t interested in the first place.

    I occasionally still try when someone seems interested. But its a delicate balance between suggesting lifestyle change and offending someone. And for me, relationship is too important to jeopardize.