By Mary Jackson, Director of Patient & Family Services
Here’s a statistic that caught my eye: Nearly 14 million people in the United States have survived cancer. And the number is growing. By 2022, there will be 18 million survivors.
Those figures are from the American Cancer Society. The numbers are good news because it means more people are beating cancer. But often, a nagging question lingers for cancer survivors.
Will I get cancer again?
No doctor can answer that question with certainty. But survivors can reduce their chances of a cancer recurrence by taking charge of their own wellness.
To help survivors as well as those in treatment, the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) offers a wealth of wellness programs focused on reducing stress, eating healthy and building energy.
These programs, developed and administered by the Patient and Family Services division, have proven effective over the years in meeting the needs of patients and survivors alike.
It is interesting to see so many other cancer treatment centers launch their own wellness programs. In fact, it seems to be the “in” thing. But developing proven programs requires years of experience.
That experience and knowledge already exists at the CTRC. For example, for years we have offered courses on healthy eating. Keeping a healthy weight and eating nutritious foods are good way to ward off cancer.
Eating more fruits and vegetables, cutting down on high-fat foods and controlling portion sizes are some of the things we teach patients and survivors in our cooking classes.
Healthy eating is a good first step. But reducing stress and anxiety also can improve a survivor’s outlook. We offer programs that teach people to deal with stress in a positive way.
In fact, you will find articles on several of the programs we offer, such as Tai Chi, meditation and gentle yoga.
We also know survivors and patients need emotional reassurance. That’s why we have many support groups and spiritual programs aimed at learning coping skills, building self-esteem and improving mood.
Research continues to discover new ways for people to lower their risk of getting certain cancers. We want to be on the leading edge of using research to develop new wellness programs that assist survivors on their road to good health.
Every person that survives cancer deserves a better life. Our mission is to help them achieve that goal.