Cancer & Exercise
We had the pleasure of being asked to provide a guest speaker at the local cancer support group mid October. Carly Grant, our exercise physiologist thoroughly enjoyed being able to sit down and chat with the group about the benefits exercise can provide both during treatment and after.
There is still so much we don’t know about cancer, and everyone’s journey is different.
We thought it would be a great topic to include in one of our newsletters – so here we are!
There are many types of cancer, many types of cancer treatment and many different people staring in the face of cancer whether that be as a sufferer themselves or a family member or friend. Treatment has progressed greatly and one of the things getting a bit more attention lately is how exercise can play a role.
Many years ago the advice given to people with cancer was to rest. Today people with a cancer diagnosis are more encouraged to move.
Exercise is a physical activity assists cancer prevention, recovery and survival.
Exercise has been found in many clinical studies to have a positive effect on side effects of treatment such as fatigue, lymphedema , muscle loss, depression, bone loss, reduced range of movement, increased heart disease risk, pelvic floor issues, increased risk of falls and reduced quality of life.
Exercise is widely accepted as important for maintaining good health, reducing the risk of chronic disease, and
aiding rehabilitation from disease. There is also a growing body of evidence that indicates exercise after
diagnosis may improve long-term survival rates, at least in breast and colon cancer.
An exercise program needs to be individualised according to past and current fitness level; previous and planned cancer treatment; disease and treatment related risk factors; the presence and severity of symptoms, as well as interests and desires of each person. The overall aim is to meet the physical activity guidelines recommended for the general population, however, this may be unrealistic for some people. An exercise physiologist can assist with developing an appropriate individualised exercise program.
Having spoken with many cancer sufferers, we can identify that the most sought after benefit of exercise is improved quality of life. Although living longer and ultimately beating cancer is desired, many would rather maintain a certain level of independence and dignity.
Did you know?
More than 120,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed yearly in Australia