Each year, the month of June is celebrated as the cancer survivor month with the sole intent of raising awareness of cancer survivors on their forward journey.
Overcoming cancer requires tremendous courage and zeal to live along with timely and suitable medical treatment.
The battle is not yet over for cancer survivors, they have to embark on yet another journey of maintaining good health – physically as well as emotionally, regular checkups, adherence to a healthy lifestyle of medicines, good food, and even exercise within prescribed limits.
Dr. Sandeep Nayak, well-known and Director of Robotic and Laparoscopic surgical oncology at Fortis Hospital shares his views on how cancer survivors should manage themselves in the future. Across his medical practice of nearly two decades, Dr. Nayak has been interacting with cancer patients at close quarters and empathizes with them fully.
He states, ‘There are chances of recurrence in cancer survivors. They have to be extra careful and take the necessary steps to maintain health. Similarly, positive thinking and emotions play an equally important role in healthy living.’
Dr. Nayak strongly believes cancer is preventable and prevention is better than cure. Hence he emphasizes the need of the cancer survivors to follow the prescribed medical advice. Cancer survivors should follow their doctor’s post cancer protocol fully especially undergoing medical checkups at regular intervals.
Weight gain in cancer patients is yet another cause of worry amongst cancer survivors especially those who have undergone chemotherapy, steroid treatment, and hormone treatments. Most cancer patients experience edema or fluid retention, fatigue, low metabolism and apatite and it becomes necessary to tackle it in the healthiest manner possible.
Dr. Nayak advocates reduced intake of sugar, refined flour and fat while advocates consumption of naturally healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grain along with plenty of water. He emphasizes on adoption of healthier cooking techniques. Also, he urges cancer survivors to exercise regularly in order to build up muscle strength, keep weight in control and get back to an active physical routine.
Dr. Sandeep Nayak is one of the most humane , started MACS Clinic for Cancer patients, located in Jayanagar, Bangalore. It is the first and only dedicated specialty clinic for laparoscopic and robotic cancer surgery consultation in Bangalore. He believes in treating his patients in the best possible manner. At the same time, he advises patients to have full faith and trust in their doctors and treatment.
Amidst the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, Dr. Nayak advises cancer survivors to follow social distancing measures and limit their exposure as much as possible. There are reports of cancer survivors under active treatment being at high risk because their immunity is already compromised. Studies have revealed the cancer cells can deactivate immune cells while chemotherapy can kill or damage immune cells. Keeping these in mind, cancer survivors on active treatment need to remain extra careful and not compromise their health at any cost. Also, they should take COVID vaccine to reduce the risk further.
He further adds that cancer survivors should have in place their support system or rather continue to stay in touch with their caregivers, allied medical helpers. Also, it is equally essential to share updates or changes in health, however minor.
He explains that an emotionally positive bonding goes a long way in not only helping the patient to recover but also encourages the doctor to take go ahead with a critical treatment in the best interest of the patient.
The very act of displaying faith and trust either through words or a nod of the eyes or the head or even a pat on the back reassures the patients and doctors that ‘All will be well.' After all, doctors too, are human beings armed with medical expertise but committed to healing the people of their ailment.