Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Preventing Cancer Complications with Exercise-- Guest Blogger David Haas

Today, I am very lucky to have a great guest blogger, David Haas.  Here's his post:


Preventing Cancer Complications with Exercise

Physical fitness has always played a central role in a healthy lifestyle, and it has
increasingly been recognized as an important part of treatment for chronic disease.
Heart disease patients are routinely counseled to exercise under the care of fitness
experts, and osteoporosis patients have likewise found major benefits from
resistance training and aerobics. Just as exercises have to be modified for these
diseases, modifications can be used to ensure all cancer patients get enough
exercise to realize benefits.

The good news is that the majority of cancer patients will need no special
modifications, only a general precaution against over-exertion. Breast cancer
patients have successfully participated in outpatient workout programs, well-known
athletes have proven that even vigorous exercise can be safe and effective during
treatment. Unfortunately, it has also been shown through epidemiological studies
that cancer patients are less likely to engage in a regular workout program than the
general population. This is partly due to the debilitating effects of cancer fatigue.

Too Tired to Exercise

Fatigue often begins as a symptom of radiation treatment and chemotherapy, and it
can last as long as five years after treatment has successfully stopped cancer
growth. Some medications can help, but they may also cause damaging side effects.
Fatigue itself sets up a feedback loop, as more fatigue leads the patient to exercise
less and this in turn creates more fatigue.

Getting started with exercise can sometimes be difficult because of this feedback
loop. However, exercise has been shown in controlled studies to reduce fatigue and
give patients more energy. Whether the fight is against breast cancer or
mesothelioma cancer, physical activity is the best way to mitigate cancer fatigue.
Unlike medications, there are no side effects when routines are performed
responsibly, and the benefits of exercise only begin with reducing fatigue. Better
physical fitness is also an effective path for reducing other types of physical and
emotional stress.

Regaining Optimism

Beginning with the diagnosis, many patients feel the life has been sucked out of
them. Others may not experience high levels of depression or anxiety until the use of
body-altering surgeries or other treatments. Using quality of life indicators and
emotional disorder questionnaires, researchers have compared patients who
exercise regularly with those who do not. They have found and confirmed many
times over that exercise is an effective way of regaining hope and beating the
emotional stress of fighting cancer.

Benefits Beyond Treatment

For those patients who survive cancer, the exercise routine begun during treatment
should be continued. Besides offering protection against other types of chronic
disease, workouts will also prevent recurrence of most types. In addition,
researchers found that survivors who continue exercising experience a longer
lifespan and lower risk of death from any cause, not just from cancer.

Using the body to heal itself is not a new idea, but it is undergoing a renaissance in
cancer treatment programs. The benefits are too great to ignore. This safe and free
complimentary treatment is available to all who seek better health.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice post. Information posted here is very helpful. I like the blog very much. Thanks to the admin of this blog.