Even though cancer treatment can make you feel quite sick, staying as healthy as you can while you’re having treatment will help your body to recover and help you cope emotionally.
It’s important to look after yourself, which means you should:
Get regular exercise
It may be the last thing you feel like doing – especially if you feel completely wiped out from treatment – but even a small amount of physical activity is good for your body and your mind.
Get enough sleep
Some cancer treatments (or just being in a hospital!) can affect your normal sleep patterns. And many people get insomnia – difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep – when they are worried about something.
Having enough, uninterrupted sleep (8-10 hours for adolescents and young adults) is a basic human need – like eating and breathing – and essential for your physical and emotional health while you’re dealing with cancer.
Minimise use of drugs and alcohol
Cancer and cancer treatment mess with your body – your energy levels will be down and you may struggle to fight off infections. Drugs and alcohol only make this harder.
Using drugs and drinking alcohol can:
You need to be straight with your treatment team about any drugs you are using or have used before. This includes drugs (like weed, coke, MDMA or ecstasy) as well as alcohol and cigarettes. Doctors and health professionals won’t lecture or judge you (usually!), but need to know so they can ensure your treatment is as effective as possible.