What Is a Prognosis? How Can It Be Improved?

This process involves a doctor’s assessment of the patient’s progression of lung cancer (or other diseases), including their survival rate. The evaluation is based on the doctor’s experience with other similarly ill patients and is an estimate that generally comes after the diagnosis. They’ll measure the patient’s prognosis based on two factors: quantity (survival rate) and quality of life. This estimate can change for better or worse based on primary treatments, emerging therapies, and what the patient can do during and after this time. For instance, incorporating diet changes and physical and mental exercises into post-treatment routines could help with improving a person’s lung cancer prognosis.

Healthy Diet

What people eat has always been a significant factor in their general health. Food provides nutrition and strengthens the body. This is even more so the case for patients who are sick. Improving nutrition can help lung cancer patients with managing weight changes and coping with nausea. The body is already weak from fighting the illness, so it’s essential to cut out certain foods to combat these issues and help with improving a patient’s prognosis.

What Foods to Incorporate

Your diet is about to get very colorful. Try to include these foods in your post-cancer treatment diet, and you may improve your prognosis:

Attempt to eat at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day. Also, try to incorporate plant-seasonings such as parsley, rosemary, and turmeric. Some vegetables that can help with lung and esophageal cancers include bell peppers, berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, dark leafy greens, peas, squash, spinach, and beans.

Get into some whole grains. Try to pick the bread with high-fiber, protein, and Omega-3s. Cereals, brown rice, barley, bulgur, oats, would also work.

Lean proteins work best. Try adding fish, poultry, and tofu into your diet.
Keep dairy consumption low. Make sure that it’s low fat. This could encompass low-fat yogurt, skim milk, and cheeses with reduced-fat.

Try to consume more foods high in vitamin D. These could be: canned tuna, salmon, and sardines

What Foods to Avoid

It may be time to cut out some of the less-healthy foods in your life if the goal is improving your prognosis. Foods to avoid or reduce consumption in:

Red and processed meats are best to avoid or minimize intake for a patient in recovery.

Alcohol has been tied to cancer risk. Try to limit your consumption of this to two drinks a day.

Dietary Supplements. Get your nutrition from foods instead of dietary supplements. Some higher-dose supplements have actually been associated with cancer risk.

Try to avoid trans fat or partially hydrogenated oil that can be found in fried foods. This can mean cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, french fries, and fried chicken.
Avoid harmful sugars. This includes ice cream, soft drinks, sweetened cereal, white bread, pasta, and pizza.

Other Meal Tips

Pairing certain foods with one another can help streamline their health benefits. Here are some tips to help maximize your nutrition intake:

  • Flavor food with herbs and spices that help the immune-system: garlic, ginger, and curry powder.
  • If you decide to cook vegetables, only cook them until they are tender.
  • Try to eat fatty fish at least twice a week.
  • When planning your meals, try to incorporate a variety of foods. Try to make a balanced plate consisting of:
      • One-half of the plate consisting of cooked or raw vegetables
      • One-fourth lean protein
      • One-fourth whole grains

Ask your doctor the tips and diet suggestions and resources they have available.

Improved Exercise

Moderated physical exercise has been associated with improving the prognosis of patients with lung disease. As long as the patient doesn’t push themselves too hard, this therapy can help reduce fatigue levels, counter depression by elevating mood, and speed up recovery. It’s essential to try and be physically active for at least thirty minutes each day. Some exercise techniques a recovering patient could practice involve:

Stretching is essential because it allows the muscles and joints to be limber and loose for the workout.

Aerobic training encompasses exercises that get the heart pumping and boost the heart rate. A person could use a treadmill, run outdoors, jog, swim, or bike.

Strength training is a series of exercises that focus on toning and building muscles. The patient could use resistance bands, lift weights, or use machines.

Clarify with your doctor how much they recommend you exercise before moving forward.

Complementary Therapies for Improving a Prognosis

This activity helps the patient focus on building strength and endurance, relaxing, handling stress, and relieving pain, anxiety, and depression in patients.

Mind

Aromatherapy utilizes the sense of smell combined with concentrated plant oils, aromatherapy can help with stress relief and increasing pleasant sensations and feelings of well-being.

Meditation is a form of therapy that aims to focus on calming the mind, gaining control of one’s thoughts and emotions, and relaxing the body by employing specific breathing techniques. Some studies demonstrate that meditation can help lower stress hormones and improve immune function.

Music therapy will use the aid of a trained therapist. This process helps improve recovery, promote relaxation, and enhance well-being by using music. This can involve listening to melodies, playing an instrument, writing a song, or using guided imagery.

Body

Massage therapy focuses on the body and specific pain points, massage therapy can reduce pain and anxiety associated with lung disease.

Qigong and Tai Chi pair a series of fluid movements with regulated, slow, and deliberate breathing. Qigong and Tai Chi can help reduce sleep issues, improve quality of life, and decrease inflammation by combining techniques to help both the body and mind.

Both

Acupuncture is also a therapeutic component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture encompasses thin needles, heat, pressure, and/or electricity to help spur the body to promote the flow and balance of internal energy, treat chronic pain, and other lung cancer symptoms.

Yoga focuses on specific, simple breathing exercises, enduring physical postures, and utilizing meditation methods. Yoga can help promote health, relaxation, and keep you limber.

It’s essential to practice these therapies daily to help with improving your lung cancer prognosis.

Next Steps to Improving Your Prognosis

Have a chat with your doctor about improving your prognosis. They’ll be able to map out the right post-treatment plan for you for cancer prevention. Make sure to listen to what they say and not push yourself too far, as this could slow down the recovery process.