LCI Psych

Your Health, Men's Health, Women's Health | 4 years ago

New Year's Resolutions for Cancer Survivors: Stay Vigilant About Health

Levine Cancer Institute is here to support people dealing with cancer, helping them translate New Year’s resolutions into year-long habits through clubs, classes and programs, often at little or no cost.

Editor's Note: This article is part of a mini-series featuring LCI's Cancer Support Programs. Stay tuned for future postings about additional classes offered to support New Year's resolutions.

Resolution #4: Stay Vigilant With Health

When Deborah Wall was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990, she was just 40 years old. When she finished her treatment – a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation – she thought she had put her big health concerns behind her. Not so. Although her cancer stayed away, Deborah realized that being a cancer survivor means remaining vigilant with health.

The radiation Deborah underwent put her at increased risk for coronary artery disease, which led to a heart attack seven years later. She sees a cardiologist regularly now and stays on blood pressure medication. In addition, Deborah underwent gene testing, which came back positive for BRCA2. This gene is associated with a greater chance of breast and ovarian cancer. As a result of the test, Deborah took action to reduce her own risk for ovarian cancer and encouraged her family to get tested as well.

“You never think cancer is going to happen to you, and then it does,” Deborah says. “And then it affects everyone. It’s so important to really be on top of things, even long after treatment.”

Deborah has found the Cancer Survivorship Medical Clinic at Levine Cancer Institute to be an invaluable resource to maintain health as a cancer survivor. Michael S. Richardson, MD, who created the clinic, recommends that survivors start the year by answering six questions about their health:

1. Am I up to date with any testing needed to be sure my cancer has not returned?
2. Am I up to date with any testing needed to look for other types of cancer?
3. Does my family need cancer gene testing due to the cancers in our family?
4. Do I have any health problems from my cancer or my cancer therapy?
5. How can I make my lifestyle healthier to prevent cancer?
6. Do all my doctors have the information they need to work together for me?

New Year’s Resolution Inspiration

  • Take a daily walk. Deborah’s cardiologist motivated her to walk every day, which has benefits beyond exercise. If you walk every day, you’re more likely to feel when something’s not right in your body and can be proactive in your care.
  • Go to the doctor. Even long after cancer treatment, continue to work with doctors to stay on top of your health.
  • Get support. For those who have completed treatment, call the Cancer Survivorship Medical Clinic at 980-442-2500 to schedule an appointment. In just one visit, you can review all six of Dr. Richardson’s questions with a medical professional and get the tools you need to maximize your health in the new year.


Learn more about Levine Cancer Institute's Cancer Support Programs.

Read Below for the Full Collection of Our New Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1: Eat a Healthy Diet

Resolution #2: Exercise More

Resolution #3: Restore Well-being

Resolution #4: Stay Vigilant About Health