Cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation involve travel to facilities. But what we do at home can amplify treatment’s benefits and decrease its side effects.

Some risk factors, like age, cannot be avoided, but limiting your exposure to other factors may lower your risk. The American Association for Cancer Research says these “preventable causes”
are responsible for “more than 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed and nearly half of all deaths from cancer in the United States.”

Mindfulness techniques help us become mor e resilient to life’s challenges. Amy Roberts, LCSW and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher at RBOI, says that developing a non-judgmental, beginner’s mind is key. “Be aware of your reactions, your thoughts, your body, but in a way t hat’s patient and trusting,” she explains.

The holidays can be stressful, even without cancer’s added challenges. COVID-19 and other health concerns can raise stress levels even further. Wendy Hall, LCSW, offers these ways to cope.

*Keep things simple. The side effects from cancer and its treatment can ramp up your fatigue and lower your immunity, so focus on just one or two traditions that are special to you. If you are social distancing from friends and family, consider modifying some traditions, like visiting online rather than in person. Some websites can also let you post audio and video greetings for loved ones to enjoy.

Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening can reduce lung cancer deaths by up to 20% compared to standard chest X-rays, by detecting tumors at early stages when they are more likely to be curable. But lung cancer screening rates are low across the US at 6%, and even lower in Florida at 3%. Florida is 40th in the nation in lung cancer screening. COVID-19 decreased that testing even further, especially in high-risk populations that include racial and ethnic minorities.

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Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute