When battling cancer, it’s important for the immune system to be primed and focused on fighting malignant cells. In fact, many patients undergo immunotherapy as part of their anti-cancer regimen.
Some of these individuals may be prescribed immunotherapy in conjunction with cytotoxic medication or when other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, have been ineffective.
As a result, their immune systems may be fairly compromised before starting this type of treatment.
Therefore, patients should take these 5 steps to boost their immunity during immunotherapy.
1. Get Enough Sleep
During sleep, the body is able to concentrate on restoration and repair. Therefore, it’s essential to get at least 7 hours of sleep per in order to avoid taxing the immune system.
When patients do not get adequate rest, they can be more susceptible to colds, flus, and infection and are at risk for delayed healing.
2. Follow a Nutritious Diet
A diet complete with fruits, vegetables, fish, lean-meats, and proteins can provide the necessary nutrients to bolster immunity.
While patients receiving cancer treatment often experience a decreased appetite, they should try to eat small amounts of healthy food throughout the day.
3. Be Active
Exercise can strengthen the immune system and is often encouraged during immunotherapy. Before starting any type of workout program, patients should consult with their treating physician, who can suggest appropriate physical activities.
However, exercise should be avoided if you feel extreme fatigue, have anemia (low red blood cells), poor muscle coordination (ataxia), or low white blood cells.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress can negatively impact immunity and cause the release of chemicals such a cortisol that can hinder immune responses and digestion.
Several ways to manage stress include breathing exercises, meditation, massage, reading, listening to music, and talking with friends, family, or a trusted advisor.
5. Protect Against Germs
Exposure to bacteria and viruses can distract the immune system from targeting cancer cells. Therefore, patients should take care to avoid people and places where contracting an illness is more likely.
Other ways to stay free of germs include washing hands thoroughly, storing food in a refrigerator at 40 degrees or below, cleaning fruits and vegetables before eating them, and rinsing food products such as bagged greens even when they indicate that they’ve been pre-washed.
For additional tips on boosting immunity during immunotherapy, please call My Gentle Wellness today to schedule a consultation.