Exercise after Cancer treatment

How can exercise positively impact cancer patients and survivors?

Cancer is a formidable adversary, affecting millions of lives around the world. While medical advancements have made great strides in treating the disease, there's an often-overlooked ally in the battle against cancer: exercise. Physical activity, tailored to an individual's needs, can play a significant role in cancer treatment.

A large-scale study of over 11,000 cancer patients across 11 different types of cancer revealed that adhering to post-diagnosis exercise guidelines was associated with a significant decrease in overall mortality, with greater benefits as exercise time went up.
Patients who followed exercise guidelines had a 5-year survival benefit compared to non-exercisers, with a 25% reduction in all-cause mortality.

So, how can exercise positively impact cancer patients and survivors?

  1. Strengthening the Immune System:

One of the key benefits of exercise during cancer treatment is its ability to bolster the immune system. Engaging in regular physical activity can help your body's immune cells function more effectively, providing a better defence against cancer cells and infections.

  1. Alleviating Treatment Side Effects:

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy androgen deprivation therapy can take a toll on the body, leading to side effects such as fatigue, nausea, and muscle weakness. Exercise can help mitigate these side effects by improving overall physical fitness and endurance. It can also combat the fatigue that often accompanies cancer treatment.

  1. Enhancing Mental Well-Being:

Cancer can bring about significant emotional distress. Exercise has been proven to release endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals, which can alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress. Engaging in physical activity can boost your mood and provide a sense of empowerment during a challenging time.

  1. Improving Quality of Life:

Maintaining or even increasing physical activity levels during cancer treatment can lead to an improved quality of life. It helps patients retain their independence, manage daily activities, and enjoy a better overall sense of well-being.

  1. Reducing the Risk of Recurrence:

Emerging research suggests that regular exercise may reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. While the exact mechanisms are still being studied, staying active post-treatment may contribute to a lower likelihood of cancer returning.

It's essential to note that exercise during cancer treatment should be personalized to each individual's needs and limitations. Consultation with an Exercise Physiologist is crucial to developing a safe and effective exercise plan tailored to your specific situation.

If you or a loved one is undergoing cancer treatment, don't hesitate to explore the benefits of exercise in consultation with an Exercise Physiologist. Together, we can create a personalized exercise plan that supports your journey to better health and healing.