Surviving Cancer: Oncologists Share Their Personal Experiences and 4 Key Tips for Prevention

Hospital staff.

The 5-year survival rate of oncologists is higher than that of the general public after a cancer diagnosis. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd via Dreamstime)

After a cancer diagnosis, the 5-year survival rate of oncologists is higher than that of the general public. What are the secrets of doctors?

4 pieces of advice from oncologists who are cancer survivors

1. Don’t exhaust yourself just because you are young

Dr. Zhang, the director of an oncology hospital, had been diagnosed with breast hyperplasia, a pre-cancerous condition in which there is an increase in the number of cells in the breast. As a result, she strictly required herself to do breast self-examinations routinely. Unfortunately, she felt a small lump a few years ago, and it was diagnosed as breast cancer by ultrasound. After surgery and other treatments, she recovered and returned to work.

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Thinking back on her experience, Dr. Zhang said that when she was younger, she often stayed on duty at the hospital through the night and would go without sleep. As a result, she started to have problems such as insomnia when she was in her thirties. Her colleagues reminded her not to exhaust herself, but she didn’t listen because she thought since she was young, it wouldn’t damage her health. Now she realizes that youth can really cover up many problems, and advises young people not to overwork themselves.

Don't damage your health by overworking.
Don’t damage your health by overworking. (Image: Fizkes via Dreamstime)

2. Watch your diet

Dr. Xu, a famous gastroenterologist and tumor treatment specialist, was found to have liver cancer at the age of 66 during a medical checkup. Dr. Xu received treatment while also researching and reflecting on past treatment plans. His cancer was later cured and has not returned, and he has shared his cancer-fighting experiences on many occasions.

In China, the types of cancer that occur most frequently are those that affect the digestive system, which are related to poor dietary habits. A diet high in fat and oil can easily lead to colon, pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancers, while a high-salt diet can easily lead to stomach and esophageal cancer.

Dr. Xu said: “Some say that cancer is caused by diet, which is not wrong.” He suggests that people develop low-fat, high-fiber dietary habits, and increase the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods and foods containing carotenoids or polyphenols such as carrots, pumpkins, nuts, berries, dark chocolate, tea, and so on.

3. Don’t give up

In 2011, Dr. Xu, a thoracic surgeon in Huangshan City, was diagnosed with lung cancer with brain metastasis. The doctor who examined him judged that it would be “difficult to live beyond 100 days”. At that time, 44-year-old Dr. Xu had been working in thoracic surgery for more than 20 years and had seen countless lung cancer patients, but he didn’t think that one day it would be his turn.

Instead of being intimidated by lung cancer, he received the treatment and took medication and radiation therapy, and eventually tried targeted therapy, ultimately defeating it. He believes that his optimistic spirit played a big role in the cancer-fighting process. In clinical practice, he has seen many patients will collapse after being diagnosed, and such a state of mind is very detrimental to treatment. No matter how skillful the doctor is, no matter how good the medicine or plan is, it will be difficult to save a person who has given up.

An optimistic spirit plays a big role in the cancer-fighting process.
An optimistic spirit plays a big role in the cancer-fighting process. (Image: Roman Samborskyi via Dreamstime)

4. Develop good living habits and take care of your body

A medical oncologist told his experience of getting cancer. Because of his busy clinical work, he habitually drank less water so he wouldn’t have to take time out of his schedule to go to the bathroom. As a result, his urine was always dark yellow. He often had to stay up late for night shifts, and although he did not smoke or drink and was very young, he was still diagnosed with bladder cancer.

After surgery to remove the tumor, and three years of bladder infusion chemotherapy, he said he “escaped the clutches of the tumor by a fluke.”

This experience made him realize the importance of caring for the body. Everyone needs to develop good habits: drink water when thirsty, go to the bathroom when you need to, be sure to get enough sleep, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, and take measures to reduce stress. Otherwise, even if you are young and feel strong, it is still possible to fall victim to a serious illness.

Why doctors have a higher survival rate than the general public

1. They detect tumors early

Oncologists have seen many patients on the job and understand the importance of cancer screening more than the general public. They attach importance to regular medical checkups and are often able to detect symptoms earlier and get timely treatment.

2. Knowledge about their condition helps them keep an optimistic mindset

Oncologists possess professional knowledge and have a better understanding of cancer and their own condition, which makes them less likely to be easily intimidated by the disease. An optimistic attitude is an important factor in ensuring successful cancer treatment.

3. Belief in doctors and the ability to actively work with a treatment plan

Oncologists trust in their profession and will not seek medical help indiscriminately or attempt treatment based on unverified information, which can delay opportunities for recovery. Believing in professional medical staff and actively cooperating with treatment are key factors in curing cancer.

Translated by Patty Zhang

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