Looking after yourself

Cancer can cause physical and emotional strain, so it’s important to try to look after your well-being as much as possible. Here are a few ways you can help look after your physical and mental state:

Nutrition – Eating healthy food can help you cope with treatment and side effects. A dietitian can help you manage special dietary needs or eating problems, and choose the best foods for your situation. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for a free copy of the Nutrition and Cancer booklet.

Staying active – Physical activity may help to reduce tiredness, improve circulation and elevate mood. The amount and type of exercise you do depends on what you are used to, how you feel, and your doctor’s advice. Cancer Council’s Exercise for People Living with Cancer booklet provides more information about the benefits of exercise, and outlines simple exercises that you may want to try.

Complementary therapies – These therapies are used with conventional medical treatments. You may have therapies such as massage, relaxation and acupuncture to increase your sense of control, decrease stress and anxiety, and improve your mood. Let your doctor know about any therapies you are using or thinking about trying, as some may not be safe or evidence-based.

Alternative therapies are used instead of conventional medical treatments. These therapies, such as coffee enemas and magnet therapy, can be harmful.

For more information, call 13 11 20 for a free copy of the Understanding Complementary Therapies booklet.

This information was last reviewed in November 2016.
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Nutrition after cancer treatment
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Nutrition and cancer help for carers
Tips for preparing food for someone with cancer

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