Guide to Healthy Living: Physical Health

Mark’s Story

“A few months after my final remission, I’d go to the gym and struggle with just the bar,” says Hodgkin lymphoma survivor Mark in this video. “I had so much to rebuild.”

Everyone experiences cancer in a different way. And when it comes to a path forward after treatment, one size does not fit all. But three areas of physical health—nutrition, physical activity, and sleep—are important for all cancer survivors and key to your recovery and well-being.

Finding your “new normal” as a cancer survivor is a journey. That’s where this guide comes in. You’ll find expert information, practical tips, and trusted resources that will help you and your care partners come up with a plan that feels right for where you are today.

Our guide can help you—

  • Understand how healthy eating, exercise, and sleep can have a positive effect on your health.
  • Realize the common struggles that cancer survivors face.
  • Identify your specific needs and challenges so you feel more comfortable talking about them.
  • Find experts in your community who can help you start and keep healthy habits.
  • Learn ways to care for your loved ones as a cancer survivor or as a caregiver.

Tips for Staying Healthy

When your treatment is finished, your doctor may tell you that you should get checkups or tests in the future. This is called follow-up care. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. These tests can help find early signs of a new cancer or the return of the same cancer.

For more tips on how to lower the chance that your cancer will come back, visit Staying Healthy After Cancer Treatment.

Photo of a man eating a salad
After cancer, it may not be easy to eat well, but it’s important. A healthy diet can help you feel better, regain your strength and energy, and reduce your risk for serious health problems.
Photo of a grandmother walking in a park with her grandchildren
Cancer survivors who keep a healthy weight and stay physically active may have a lower risk of having cancer come back. Start small and try to build up to 30 minutes of movement a day.
Photo of a man sleeping in bed
Many cancer survivors have trouble sleeping. Healthy sleep habits can help.
Photo of a man eating a salad while sitting on a park bench talking on his cell phone
Caregiving can take a toll on your own health. You can find ways to make healthy choices.
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Page last reviewed: December 10, 2020