Abdalla Sholi, M.D.
Medical Oncologist, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
June 4th is National Cancer Survivors Day, a celebration of life dedicated to the millions of cancer survivors, their support persons, and care teams to raise awareness of the challenges and accomplishments those who are affected by cancer take on.
Care After Cancer Treatment
Cancer care doesn’t just stop once you’ve completed all your treatment sessions. There can be late or long-term effects that occur due to the treatment received to fight your cancer. Your doctor will create a personalized plan during a Cancer Survivorship Program appointment with you to help you cope with these effects in addition to making referrals for whatever mental, social, or spiritual concerns you may have. Some of these services include but are not limited to:
- Nutrition coaching
- Social services
- Physical therapy or exercise programs
- Financial counseling
- Home care
- Support groups and psychotherapists
Psychological and interpersonal care resources like these will help you transition from cancer diagnosis to cancer survivorship.
Making Healthy Choices
After going through cancer treatments, it’s important to keep up with the care of your health. Your body has already gone through so much; making certain lifestyle choices will either help or hurt the chances of your cancer returning.
There is no hard evidence that there are any health benefits to drinking alcohol. In fact, drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancer returning and the susceptibility of other diseases. To destress, light physical activity like taking a walk is a great alternative to give your body a serotonin boost.
Another misconception is that smoking is a way to relax your body. However, nicotine actually creates the same stress hormones that your body produces when it experiences fear. Smoking also leads to cancer in addition to other health issues like heart problems and possible stroke.
Your diet plays an important role after fighting cancer and making small and gradual changes can help benefit you in the long run. Make it fun by trying new healthy foods and keeping the ones you like in your meal prep. Whole grains, fiber, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables are also all great options to start incorporating into your favorite recipes.
You are not alone in your fight against cancer. At UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, our oncologists help guide you from prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and everything in between. From our cancer centers in Williamsport, Coudersport, and Wellsboro, Pa., we offer you and your family the resources you need to fight cancer and get back to the life you love.
Abdalla Sholi, M.D. is the medical director of Medical Oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Centers in Coudersport, Wellsboro, and Williamsport. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is one of the largest integrated cancer networks in the U.S. To learn more, visit UPMC.com/CancerNCPA.