Regular exercise will assist you during your cancer treatment. In the past doctors may have told cancer sufferers to reduce their activity and rest during treatment and this is good advice if movement causes pain, rapid heart rate or shortness of breath. However new research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, but it can improve how well you function physically and your quality of life.
Too much inactivity can lead to a loss of body function, muscle depletion and reduced range of motion.
We are helping our cancer patients to be as physically active as possible during cancer treatment and afterwards too.
Ways regular activity will assist you during your treatment:
- Keep or improve your physical abilities (how well you can use your body to do things)
- Improve balance, lower risk of falls and broken bones
- Keep muscles from wasting due to inactivity
- Lower the risk of heart disease
- Lessen the risk of osteoporosis (weak bones that are more likely to break)
- Improve blood flow to your legs and lower the risk of blood clots
- Make you less dependent on others for help with normal activities of daily living
- Improve your self-esteem
- Lower the risk of being anxious and depressed
- Lessen nausea
- Improve your ability to keep social contacts
- Lessen symptoms of tiredness (fatigue)
- Help you control your weight
- Improve your quality of life
We work with you to set appropriate goals and develop an exercise program based on what is safe and what works best for you. It should be something you like doing. We will take into account
- The type and stage of cancer you have
- Your cancer treatment
- Your stamina (endurance), strength, and fitness level
A growing number of studies have looked at the impact of physical activity on cancer recurrence and long-term survival. (Cancer recurrence is cancer that comes back after treatment.) Exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, body composition, fatigue, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, happiness, and several quality of life factors in cancer survivors. At least 20 studies of people with breast, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancer have suggested that physically active cancer survivors have a significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence and improved survival compared with those who are inactive.
(American Cancer Society).