Eating healthy and exercising isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you’ve survived cancer. Yet it may hold the key to saving your life for a second time. Researchers found that following American Cancer Society healthy living guidelines improved not only life expectancy, but dramatically reduced the odds of the cancer coming back. Unfortunately, only 10% of patients in the study were following these guidelines.
The 10% that ate right and exercised regularly were 42% less likely to die than those that didn’t. While the study was focused specifically on colon cancer patients, researchers believe their findings will apply to survivors of other types of cancer as well.
According to Dr. Erin Van Blarigan of the University of California, San Francisco: “The people who were adhering to the guidelines in our seven-year follow-up period, 20 percent died. But in the group where people were not adhering to the guidelines, 35 percent died.”
Among the behaviors that contributed to a good survival outlook: consuming at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, maintaining a healthy body weight, and exercising at least 30-60 minutes a day.