According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1 million people get cancer each year. Whether you or a loved one is battling cancer, our members offer the following tips on what helped them.

Please note that the following tips from members do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. These tips are intended as general information only. Please consult your physician for specific advice. 

I was diagnosed with lymphoma and had to go through six chemotherapy treatments. My nurse told my wife and me to remember protein, protein, protein and not to be a couch potato.

As a result, my wife made sure that I had a high protein breakfast every morning and that I had plenty of protein drinks and bars for daily consumption.

In addition, I continued my nightly walks and my workout routine three days a week, and I tried to get at least eight hours of sleep a night while continuing to work eight hours a day.

Protein and exercise — and a “never give up” attitude. Not to mention a lot of love.

— John T.

Pat N.

Find a support group right away and go to it. You can find a group in early days for newly diagnosed so that you can be part of something greater than yourself even before you've really absorbed the shock of having a cancer diagnosis.

Inside and outside of the group, talk as much as you need to (I'm a talker I needed to talk). If you're not a talker, don't be afraid to ask for privacy to have whatever you need for your peace of mind.

— Pat N.

I think the biggest thing about cancer is early detection. My oncologist told me that many women ignore the warning signs, and that’s when the prognosis can be bad. Thankfully, I went to my primary doctor when I knew something wasn’t right, and he sent me to a gynecologist who diagnosed the cancer.

She then sent me to a wonderful and talented oncologist. Within a month, the cancer was gone!

— Diana P.

Marc B.

Stay on top of your care. That means know what is being done, why it’s being done, and what the results are. And especially ask about anything that your physician has not addressed.

— Marc B.

To anyone who is currently fighting, reach out and get all the support you can! You can’t do this alone. To all the family or friends who know someone affected by cancer, be the best friend you can be. They need you to tell them they are going to get through this. Mind over matter!

— Carolyn K.

My motto was “don’t own it” last year while I was dealing with the cancer diagnosis, surgery and radiation. I refused to spend any time allowing this illness to control my thoughts, feelings or emotions.

I kept myself distracted and continued giving to others. This sickness was not going to rob me of my dreams or desires. 

— Christina Z.

Connie W.

Plan for lots of naps! Keep a pillow in your car. I napped 15 to 30 minutes after I drove to work, after my treatment at lunch, and after work before I drove home.

— Connie W.