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After Cancer Care (Book Recommendation)

To be honest, I never thought I will share a book in my blog, especially a book about Cancer Care.

It’s not until my beloved family member was diagnosed with lung cancer, I started to read books about cancer, and found out cancer rehab is as important as other interventions. 

After Cancer Care  The Definitive Self-Care Guide to Getting and Staying Well for Patients after Cancer” was written by a cardiac surgeon (Dr. Lemole) and two oncologists (Dr. Mehta & Dr. Mckee). Besides regular check-ups, medication, chemo/radiation therapy and surgery, the authors believe cancer treatment should also includes diet change, exercise program and emotional health care.


What’s more, the best part of this book is

All the statements and recommendations are based on scientific evidence!

The reference list has a total of 27 pages! The authors cited more than 450 studies to write this book!


⭐ Diet Change – What should we eat?

✨ Lots of vegetables & fruits. Especially those with rich anti-oxidants.

 Whole food & organic food.

✨ Wild cold water fish (at least weekly).

✨ Eat whole grains.

✨ Use olive/coconut oil, natural spice & herbs for cooking.

✨ Take supplements, especially Vitamin D. A study from Journal of Anticancer Research recommended taking vitamin D 4,000 to 8,000 IU a day, which may help to prevent or contain cancer, multiple sclerosis & type I diabetes.


⭐ Diet Change – What should we avoid? ☠

✨ Red meat – it’s directly linked to overall cancer mortality.

✨ Trans FatPizza, donuts & instant noodle… Food contains trans fat may increase the risk of breast cancer by almost 75%.

✨ Dairy  Milk, cheese & ice cream

✨ Processed Food Hot dog, bacon & potato chip

 Refined Sugar

✨ Alcohol

The foods above are pro-inflammatory to our body, which lead to chronic inflammation. And prolonged chronic inflammation results in increased cancer risk ! 


⭐ Exercise program

Exercise is strong medicine against cancer! 

A study in the journal of clinical oncology followed up 2,705 prostate cancer patients for 18 years, and found out the exercise group who at least walk 30 minutes, 3 times a week, have 46% lower mortality rate compared to the less active group.

First rule of exercise: If it’s not enjoyable, it’s not sustainable.

cancer care

Recommended exercises:

✨ Biking

✨ Swimming

✨ Running & Walking – The authors suggested at least 5,000 steps a day.

✨ Resistance Training – This type of exercise not only improves muscle strength and bone density, it also makes your tendon & ligaments stronger, leading to better balance and posture.

✨ Stretching 15 to 20 minutes of stretching per day is recommended.


⭐ Emotional Health Care – Stress Management

For most of cancer survivors and their families, the journey of cancer treatment is always stressful. It is not uncommon cancer patients end up developing depression, due to unbearable emotional distress. Traditionally, Western medicine focused more on the physical level in medical intervention. As described in the book:

To many doctors, our bodies are machines to be fixed, not people to be healed.

cancer care


In recent years, more and more studies indicated our spirit and mind have a profound effect on healing after cancer.  In 2010, a researcher from UCLA discovered that stress biologically reprograms the immune cells, instead of fighting the cancer cells, the affected immune cells become inactive.


Stress Management Techniques: 

✨ Yoga

✨ Qigong

✨ Tai Chi

✨ Meditation

✨ Guided Imagery

✨ Progressive Muscle Relaxation



⭐ Summary

In addition to diet change, exercise program and emotional health care, there is way more useful information you can find in the book. After Cancer Care empowers cancer patients to live a better life.


Cancer does not mean the end of the world, cancer should be the new beginning of a healthy life style.

To me, cancer is not the most terrible disease, I appreciate cancer as a gift that brings me closer to my loved one, and unite my family even more. Hope you enjoy the book! ❤


⭐ Reference:

Cedric F. Garland, Christine B. French, Leo L. Baggerly, and Robert P. Heaney, “Vitamin D Supplement Doses and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the Range Associated with Cancer Prevention”, Anticancer Research 31, no. 2 (Feb 2011): 607-11.

A. Pan et al., “Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results from Two Prospective Cohort Studies”, Archives of Internal Medicine 172, no. 7 (Apr 2012): 555-63.

World Health Organization, “Breast Cancer: A Role for Trans Fatty Acids?” press release, (Apr 2008).

S.A. Kenfield, “Physical Activity and Survival after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study”, Journal of Clinical Oncology 29, no.6 (Feb 2011): 726-32.

E.K. Sloan et al., “The Sympathetic Nervous System Induced a Metastatic Switch in Primary Breast Cancer”, Cancer Research 70, no. 18 (Sep 2010): 7042-52

Andrew Tan, OTR/L, CHT, CKTP, CEAS
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Andrew Tan, OTR/L, CHT, CKTP, CEAS

The founder of "Rehab For A Better Life", specialized in ergonomic consultation, rehabilitation for upper extremity injuries, sports injuries and work-related injuries. Andrew believes rehab-related knowledge should be easy to learn and follow at home, because "knowledge is power only when we can share it" !