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Health Information Center

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Cervical Cancer

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Cervical Cancer

Lifestyle changes can help:

  • Strengthen the body for treatment
  • Help the immune system fight cancer better
  • Boost mood
  • Prevent other health problems

Quit Smoking

When a person quits smoking, the body starts to repair itself. Quitting helps boost the immune system to help fight the cancer. It improves recovery from treatment. It can also reduce the risk of future cancer and other health problems.

Reduce The Risk of Infection

Cancer and its treatments weaken the immune system. This can make it easy to get infections. It can also make infections more severe. The risk of infection can be reduced by:

  • Washing hands or using hand sanitizer often
  • Avoiding crowds, especially during cold and flu season
  • Not touching the eyes, mouth, and nose after touching objects and surfaces
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects often
  • Getting flu and pneumonia vaccines—if advised by the doctor.

Make Dietary Changes

A good diet can affect health, energy, mood, and recovery. Cancer treatment may make it hard to eat. A registered dietitian (RD) can help with meal planning.

Exercise Regularly

The doctor may advise safe exercises. Exercise can help reduce the stress of cancer and its treatment. It can help boost energy, mood, and the immune system.

Manage Tiredness

Cancer and its treatment can make people tired. It helps to focus on the most important tasks. It is important to have others to help with chores, meals, and shopping. Good nutrition also helps boost energy.

If being tired affects quality of life, call the doctor.

Seek Support

Cancer is very stressful. It is important to have support from family, friends, and others. Other sources of support may be:

  • Religious community
  • Support groups for people with the same cancer
  • Mental health professionals who work with cancer patients

Family and caregivers may need support too.

Comfort Measures

Cervical cancer found in later stages can be harder to treat. Some people choose treatments to ease problems from the cancer. Others choose to stop treatment completely. For some people, it is time to begin end-of-life planning. This may include:

  • Choosing home or hospice care
  • Money decisions
  • Advance directives—orders for a person's care and money matters
  • Insurance coverage

Trained care team members can help with this process.


  • Cervical cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/cervical-cancer. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  • Cervical cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/gynecologic-tumors/cervical-cancer. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  • Hu Z, Ma D. The precision prevention and therapy of HPV-related cervical cancer: new concepts and clinical implications. Cancer Med. 2018 Oct;7(10):5217-5236.
  • Stay healthy. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/healthy.html. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  • Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/patient/cervical-treatment-pdq#section/_180. Accessed April 21, 2021.


  • Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.