Finding a new way of living

The transition to life after cancer treatment can take time.  Take each day as it comes. Accept that you may have both good and bad days. Below are some tips to help you with the transition.

Look after yourself

Take the time you need to  adjust to changes in your body or physical appearance. Do things at your own pace and rest between activities. Remember, your body is still healing. If you are worried about going out, ask someone to go with you.


Assess your life. Ask yourself:

  • What fulfils me?
  • What is important?
  • What gives my life meaning?

Consider keeping a journal. Many people find it helps to write down how they’re feeling.


Do something you find relaxing, such as reading, listening to music or taking a bath. Learn some form of relaxation or meditation, such as mindfulness, visualisation, yoga or deep breathing.

Talk about your emotions

Acknowledge your feelings. It may help to share any concerns or worries with family and friends, your doctor, a psychologist or counsellor.

Take control

Look at ways you can manage your own wellness and make lifestyle changes to improve your quality of life. This could include changing your diet, being more physically active or stopping smoking. Seeing a psychologist, counsellor or life coach may help you to develop goals and strategies to make any desired changes to your life.

Manage side effects

You may have ongoing side effects after treatment. Talk to your health care professionals about your symptoms to see if they can be improved or managed better.

Seek support

Learning about other people’s experiences may help. Join a support group, attend a survivorship program or read stories from other survivors. Connecting with other cancer survivors may help you cope and feel more positive about the future.

This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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Support services

Life after cancer treatment
Programs and support for people who have finished treatment

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

ENRICH – a free healthy lifestyle program
A face-to-face exercise and nutrition program for cancer survivors

Cancer information

Nutrition and cancer
How to eat well during and after cancer treatment

Staying healthy after treatment
Lifestyle changes that can help keep you in good health

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends