Living Longer after Cancer

brochure cover for Nutrition of the Cancer Survivor

Cancer survivors have a stronger voice than ever before: 14 percent are now living for more than 20 years after diagnosis. The challenge for many is to manage other health concerns as well as cancer survival.

Luckily, AICR’s Guidelines fit the advice for preventing a number of diseases.

Seventy percent of the 12 million cancer survivors in the U.S. are over age 60. Julia Rowland, PhD, Director of the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship shared these statistics at AICR’s conference last fall.

"For many people, cancer has become a chronic illness with other health conditions," Rowland said. But survival of three major cancers breast, colon and prostate has strong links to a healthy lifestyle, she said. In turn, a healthy lifestyle that follows the AICR Guidelines helps prevent other conditions to which cancer survivors are vulnerable, including heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

Cancer affects entire families, creating the potential for cancer survivors to be role models of healthy living. For example, Rowland pointed out, "More studies suggest that maintaining even a moderate level of physical activity may help to prolong survival.

"Physical activity is something anyone can do. It’s not another drug with adverse effects and it can be tailored to where people live and what they enjoy," she said.

As for diet, eating mostly plant-based meals helps ward off many health problems. The following recipe is gentle on the digestive system while cool and delicious for summer.

You can download a free copy of the newly updated AICR brochure, Nutrition and the Cancer Survivor.

--From the AICR Newsletter 109 Summer 2010, page 5.

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