All of us at Leonard Cancer Institute want to wish our patients, their families and caregivers, and everyone in South Orange County and beyond a joyous holiday and a beautiful new year.

Our November grand opening ushered in a new era of care for local cancer patients. Gone are the days of having to drive or fly far from home for leading-edge treatments using the most advanced medical technology and research, including the latest drug trials.

How Can You Have A Healthy, Happy Holiday?

While the holidays are a time for celebration, we want to share a few holiday health tips that can help keep your energy up and stress down.

Leave the Idea of Perfection Behind

The false concept of perfection is all around us. We see ads for the perfect gift. Social media is full of perfect holiday outfits, meals, drinks, bodies, and beyond. Don’t buy into any of it. Do your best, have fun, and enjoy the imperfect company and close-to-perfect love of family and friends.

Limit Alcohol Use

Some people can find the holiday period depressing or overwhelming and can be prone to using alcohol to self-medicate instead of for celebrating or unwinding. If you drink, try to limit yourself to two drinks maximum for men and one for women. Remember, the body breaks alcohol down into a chemical called acetaldehyde. Not only does this chemical cause a hangover, but acetaldehyde can also damage your DNA and prevent your body from repairing the damage. When DNA is damaged, a cell can grow out of control and create a cancer tumor.

Enjoy Desserts and Treats in Moderation

From the eggnog to fudge, and the frosted sugar cookies to bread puddings, the list of holiday goodies is long and delicious. There’s no need to abstain from your favorite desserts and treats if you do enjoy them sensibly—and that includes the ever polarizing fruitcakes! We hate to be party poopers, but remember that excessive weight is associated with an increased risk for many cancers.

Gifts That Keep Giving—Sleep, Exercise, and Water

You could call them The Big Three because getting enough sleep, doing enough exercise, and drinking enough water can go a  long way in keeping you healthy. You know the numbers: at least 7 hours of shut-eye, 75+ minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week, and 60+ ounces of water daily. Once again, though, don’t worry about perfection.

Give Yourself and Family The Recommended Cancer Screenings

One of the longest-lasting gifts you can give to yourself is making sure you and your family members are up to date for the recommended cancer screenings based on your age, sex, race, and risk. Early detection can make all the difference in every cancer battle, and proper screenings are the key to early detection.

To view the latest cancer screening recommendations from the National Cancer Institute, visit them here or contact the institute directly by calling (844) 959-HOPE.

A Final Thought for The Season from Leonard Cancer Institute

The holidays can be stressful for cancer patients, survivors, and their families. This is an excellent time to reflect on the loved ones and friends we’ve lost to this all-too-common disease. The coming new year offers the opportunity for all of us to make sure we’re working to reduce our cancer risk.

If you or your loved one needs someone to talk to during the holidays, please call us at any time. Again, our number is (844) 959-HOPE. We have a staff of caring specialists, including counselors and spiritual advisors, that are here for you. You can also message us directly on social media.

Thanks to all of you for allowing us to bring world-class cancer care to South Orange County every day. We look forward to serving the entire community in 2020 and beyond.