MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES THAT ARE RIGHT FOR YOU

Your doctor may suggest focusing on some healthy lifestyle choices, which might include changes to your nutrition and exercise.

SMALL POSITIVE CHOICES MAY MAKE A DIFFERENCE

If you have been diagnosed with cancer that has spread to your bones, your doctor may recommend a few changes to your routine. If exercise has not previously been a part of your routine, you should start slowly and rest often.1

NUTRITION: Dietary needs vary by patient. Talk to your doctor about which foods may be helpful. Some patients experience nausea during treatment and may eat less food. Your doctor can help you build a diet around foods that provide ample nutrients and help relieve nausea.2

EXERCISE: Although exercising with serious bone problems requires planning and care, it may help maintain strength and improve balance. Be mindful of how you feel, and talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Then try to warm up before each exercise and focus on short periods of activity with frequent breaks.3

Remember to talk to your doctor before you begin. And try to keep a few of these specifics in mind when planning your exercise routine.1

  • Include exercises that work the large muscle groups, like the thighs, abdomen, chest, and back
  • Add resistance or light weights to increase intensity, but do so slowly
  • Incorporate stretching into your routine to work on flexibility and range of motion

MANAGE STRESS: When your cancer spreads to the bone, it can bring on additional stress. You may experience good days and bad days. Identifying ways to manage stress may help you find more time to focus on your health.

You may be concerned about a range of issues. Try grabbing a notepad and writing down questions you have for your doctor. At your next appointment, you can get the answers you need.

Stress is everywhere.
How you manage it can
make a big difference5,7
 

FIND WAYS TO MANAGE STRESS THAT WORK FOR YOU

1. Sleep: Try to get adequate rest each night. Keep the room comfortable and quiet. And ask your doctor about whether a protein snack a couple of hours before bedtime may help you sleep through the night.4 If you need additional help sleeping, speak with your doctor.
2. Meditate: Find relaxation techniques that work for you. Take some time to focus your thoughts on something positive to clear your head. Meditation may be a helpful tool as you work to manage your stress.4,5
3. Laugh: Studies have shown that laughter can promote well-being and help to overcome negative thoughts, and it may help you cope with pain. Consider humor for relaxation and as a coping mechanism to promote general wellness.5,6

 

LEAN ON YOUR ONCOLOGY NURSE

Your oncology nurse is there for you and wants to know what is going on in your life. Sometimes it may be difficult to start a conversation if there is a lot you want to share or if you are not quite sure where to begin. Review the LET’S TALK RESOURCES to help get the conversation started.

Your healthcare team can adjust your treatment plan better if they know your goals. Your nurse is there to help, so tell him or her about even minor changes.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR BONE HEALTH?

Remember, there are some practical things you can do to reduce the risk of broken bones. Here are some tips to discuss with your doctor8:

  • Avoid physical activities that are hard on your bones, such as lifting and jogging
  • If you're unsteady, consider a cane or walking stick to lower your risk of falling
  • Keep clutter out of hallways and walkways to prevent tripping
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes to provide better traction and prevent slipping
  • Consider safety equipment at home, such as shower chairs and handrails
REFERENCES:
  1. American Cancer Society. Exercise can help cancer patients’ quality of life. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/exercise-can-help-cancer-patients-quality-of-life. Published October 12, 2012. Accessed April 18, 2016.
  2. National Cancer Institute. Nutrition in cancer care. National Cancer Institute website. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss/nutrition-pdq. Updated January 8, 2016. Accessed April 18, 2016.
  3. American Cancer Society. Physical activity and the cancer patient. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorshipduringandaftertreatment/stayingactive/physical-activity-and-the-cancer-patient. Revised March 24, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2016.
  4. National Cancer Institute. Coping with advanced cancer: Support for people with cancer. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/advancedcancer.pdf. Revised May 2014. Accessed April 18, 2016.
  5. Seaward BL. Essentials of Managing Stress. 3rd ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2014. 
  6. Christie W, Moore C. The impact of humor on patients with cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2005;9(2):211-218.
  7. American Cancer Society. Distress in people with cancer. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002827-pdf.pdf. Revised June 8, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2016.
  8. American Cancer Society. Advanced cancer. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003082-pdf.pdf. Revised March 6, 2014. Accessed May 5, 2015.