Cancer is one of the dreaded diseases. It can be completely cured when identified in the first stage, but most of the cases are reported only in the final stages. There are many studies that explain the relationship between climate change and cancer. Researchers also suggest that winters can take a toll on Cancer patients worldwide. As we all know winter is a flu season, it is something that needs to be considered seriously. But how are winters and cancer linked? Due to weak immune system, cancer patients are more prone to infections during the winter season. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why winters and cancer are related.
According to 2019 reports of CDC, 20.4 million cases of influenza, 256,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 2,400 flu-related deaths have been recorded. But do you know how winters and cancer are related? The immune system of cancer patients is already weakened by chemotherapy and radiation. Therefore, ordinary flu can be much more dangerous for cancer sufferers. Doctors suggest that before getting the vaccination, the patients must consult a doctor.
Cancer patients might feel depressed and have a fragile mental state, winters can make it even worse. There is a condition called “Seasonal Affective Disorder”(SAD) in which people experience a type of depression due to lack of activity and reduction of sunlight. In cancer patients, it might make things worse leading to sleeplessness, social withdrawal, and sleeping problems. Cancer patients might keep themselves active by involving in activities they like. Taking vitamin D supplements might also help. Going for 15 minutes walk in the sunlight might reduce the SAD symptoms.
Ways to Overcome Winter Blues
- Get Quality Sleep
- Practice Healthy Food habits
- Get as much Vitamin D as possible
- Practice meditation or Yoga
Winters and cancer might affect the cancer patients more, hence if you feel any of the SAD symptoms, it is also important to consult your doctor.
Dehydration is one of the common side effects of cancer. Hence, Cancer patients might be more susceptible to conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite as they are more sensitive to cold. Hypothermia is a condition in which the core body temperature falls below 95 degrees and might include symptoms such as weak pulse and slurred speech. Frostbite is a condition in which your skin freezes. Some of its symptoms include whitening of the skin due to loss of blood and cell death. Patients suffering from cancer must be dressed in layers to stay warm.
Cancer treatments might cause bone and muscle complications in patients. Vitamin D is one of the best solutions for such muscle problems but during winter, you might not get enough of it. Therefore, drinking a lot of water, eating foods that contain vitamin D can greatly help.
Eczema is a common skin condition in which our skin turns itchy and dry. For patients undergoing chemotherapy, these symptoms might be stronger. Continuous use of moisturizers and mild soaps might help cancer patients.
Winters and cancer might seem like a dangerous combo, but you can handle it by following certain steps. Cancer patients are advised to take special care during the winter season as it might cause mental and physical discomforts. It is important to consult your doctor when you have difficulties facing the situation.