Preparing for Treatment

Smoking.  If you smoke, you should consider quitting.  Your body may respond more effectively to treatment if you do.  It is also helpful if you can avoid secondhand smoke.  Ask your doctor or nurse about smoking cessation programs to help you or members of your family quit smoking.

Nutrition.  Nutrition can make a difference in how well you recover from the effects of treatment.  Consider meeting with a nutritionist or dietitian before you start any treatment - surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy - to help ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need before, during, and after treatment.  Be sure to discuss any nutritional supplements you are taking with your doctor to avoid any potential interactions during treatment.  

Physical Activity.  Physical Activity is also important in optimizing your cancer treatment.  If you are already an active person, maintain your activities as much as possible even if you need to modify your routine.  Be sure to discuss your exercise program with your health care providers.

Be sure to tell your doctor about any symptoms you already have, such as shortness of breath and fatigue, as well as any symptoms that may result from your treatment regimen.  Some disease symptoms can be managed before you even begin therapy to help you tolerate treatment better.  It is important to know that fatigue, pain, and nausea can be managed, and it it critical to let your health care team know how symptoms are affecting you as soon as possible.  

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