Most people already know that physical activity is a big part of a healthy lifestyle that reduces the risk of many types of cancer. However, what many people don’t realize is that exercise can also help those already diagnosed with cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute’s fact sheet on physical activity and cancer, research indicates that people who engage in a physical fitness routine after a cancer diagnosis have higher energy levels, a greater balance in energy levels, an improved quality of life and a reduced risk of cancer reoccurrence.
This report by the National Cancer Society is just the tip of the iceberg. A much more extensive study of the relationship between physical activity and cancer patients was recently done by British scientists at the Macmillan Cancer Support organization. Some of the numbers that came out of the report were truly staggering.
This report indicates that a breast cancer patient that engages in 150 minutes of exercise a week reduces the risk of cancer reoccurrence by 40 percent. Men with prostate cancer that perform the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week reduce their chances of reoccurrence by 30 percent.
This same report by the Macmillan Cancer Support organization found that those who engaged in the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week reduced the side effects of cancer substantially. The side effects that exercise helps treat in cancer survivors, whether it is breast cancer or rare mesothelioma. include fatigue, osteoporosis, depression, and heart disease.
Macmillan’s study, entitled “Move More,” surveyed the results of more than 60 studies that looked at the relationship between physical activity and cancer patients. It also questioned more than 400 workers in the health care field to find out how they treat the subject of exercise with their cancer patients.
Unfortunately, the study found that more than 50 percent of the doctors and nurses surveyed do not tell their patients about the benefit of exercise during their cancer treatments.
Patients that are undergoing treatment need to spread the word to their health care workers they see during treatment as well as other patients. Exercise is one of the most important parts of a cancer treatment regimen. The most debilitating side effects that cancer and its treatment are responsible for, like depression and fatigue, respond very well to exercise.
When combining that with the reduced chances of reoccurrence, it is a no-brainer that cancer patients should be getting the recommended amount of physical activity. Just remember that 150 minutes of exercise a week will provide tremendous benefits to cancer survivors. Be sure to tell other patients the great news about the benefits of exercise during cancer treatment, and also suggest that the doctors and nurses do the same.
For more information about our guest contributor David Haas, please visit his Blog HERE