Highlands Cancer Center

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Real People, Real Stories

Zip Wells of Inez, KY
Small Cell Lung Cancer

Zip is a retired construction worker who was diagnosed with...Read Story


Mary Preston of Inez, KY
Lung Cancer

Highlands Cancer Center has helped with the support...Read Story


Henry McKenzie of Prestonsburg, KY
Colon Cancer

Henry was losing weight without any explanation for about a year...Read Story


Roger Owens of Oil Springs, KY
Tongue Cancer

"My name is Roger Owens and I am Cancer Free!!!...Read Story


Marietta Music of Paintsville, KY
Breast Cancer

"My story is about knowing your own body… Read Story


Marcus Russell of Salyersville, KY
Lymphoma

“In February of 2010 I was diagnosed with...Read Story

Diet & Exercise

Diet and exercise are the dreaded words that everyone hates to hear, but studies have proven time and time again that these two words are the key to a healthy lifestyle. Cancer risk can be reduced by simply changing the way you eat. There are many dietary factors that affect cancer risk such as the types of food you eat, food preparation methods, portion sizes, food variety, and overall caloric balance. By adding a high proportion of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans and by limiting the amount of meats, high fat foods, and diary in your diet; your cancer risk can be reduced. A low fat diet that includes a high source of fruits and vegetables is the way to go. Studies have now shown that certain fruits and vegetables have cancer-fighting qualities that break down and fight off cancer causing substances. By eating five servings a day of fruits and vegetables your cancer risk can be reduced.Examples of servings include:

  • ¼ cup of dried fruit
  • 6 oz. or ¾ cup of fruit/vegetable juice (100%)
  • Medium size piece of fruit
  • ½ cup of beans or dry peas
  • One cup of leafy vegetables (raw)
  • ½ cup of canned or cooked fruit or vegetables

List of vegetables with cancer-fighting qualities

Cruciferous Vegetables:

  • Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi, Rutabaga, Turnip, Horseradish
  • Radish & Watercress

Leafy Green Vegetables:

  • Spinach, Parsley, Mustard Greens
  • Green Peppers, Asparagus, & Lettuce

Other Vegetables & Fruit:

  • Onions, Garlic, Chives
  • Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Squash
  • Beets, Tomatoes, Berries, & Melons
  • Oranges, Grapefruit, & Lemons

Beans:

  • Soybeans, Beans, & Peas

Everyday we are exposed to many pollutants in the air such as smoke from cigarettes, exhaust fumes, and industrial smoke. Scientific studies have shown that compounds in the fruits and vegetables listed above help the body flush out these pollutants that can cause cancer.

Eating well is very important but especially important for people with cancer. When fighting cancer and recovering it is important to get the proper nutrition in order to maintain your strength and endurance. Information concerning diet can be explained by a dietitian. Ask your physician for information on finding a dietitian in your area.

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Exercise

The Surgeon General has recommended that 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity- such as walking four days a week can improve one’s health. The American Cancer Society has adopted this recommendation stating that moderate exercise can help prevent cancer. Exercise is also recommended for those currently undergoing cancer treatment and those that have finished treatment. The benefits of exercise are great not only for the body but also the mind. Exercise is a great way to help with depression. Studies have shown that activities such as walking, biking, and swimming (aerobic activity) have a positive effect on the quality of life of one’s health during cancer treatment.Some of the benefits of exercise are that it helps with fatigue, depression, and constipation. Research is still being done on how much exercise aids in preventing cancer.For cancer patients currently being treated; an exercise program should be approved by your physician. Your physician can guide you on what to do and what not to do. Exercise when you have the most energy; for example when you first wake up in the morning and stopping when you start to feel fatigued.

The intensity level and frequency of exercise will vary depending upon the individual, type of cancer, the treatment, and the symptoms associated with the treatment. Your physician can refer you to a physical therapist that can get you set up on an exercise program that will work for you.

If you have finished your cancer treatment exercise is a great activity to start. Research indicates that a regular program of physical activity can help individuals gain strength, fight fatigue, and improve their mental state.

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