Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer Survivors

Chapter 5. Staying Healthy

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Immanuel Kant

GOOD HEALTH HABITS and regular medical care can protect your health and potentially reduce the impact of late effects from your cancer treatment. Many adult cancers and other illnesses are linked to lifestyle choices that are under your control. Eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, and not smoking all help keep you healthy. Getting regular healthcare exams from someone familiar with your unique history and treatment is crucial to maintaining your health. Other sensible choices that aren’t related to cancer risk but contribute to a healthy life are wearing bike or motorcycle helmets, using seat belts, calling a cab instead of getting into a car with a drunk driver, practicing safe sex, and not texting while driving.

Although there are aspects of life over which you have little or no control (such as the genes you got from your parents), the choices you make and how you live your life allow you to direct part of your own destiny. This chapter discusses health-protective choices such as medical follow-up, diet, and exercise. It then discusses health-risk behaviors such as overexposure to sun, smoking, drinking alcohol, and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. Finally, it shares stories from survivors about ways to take care of your spirit.