Improving The Cancer Odds Through Exercise

I became aware of the importance of exercise for cancer patients while taking part in  the “Surviving Cancer in Rural and Regional Australia” Satellite Symposium linking  58 sites around Australia.

The event addressed the significant gap in readily accessible information for people dealing with cancer in rural and regional Australia.

I felt a little out of my depth I was among doctors, professors, and lecturers  talking about dealing with cancer.I was there to talk about my personal cancer journey and strategies for overcoming cancer.

Prof.Rob Newton

While all the speakers made valuable contributions it was professor Rob Newton from the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, WA who really caught my interest.

He talked about the value of anabolic (resistance) exercise for cancer patients undergoing chemo.

The conventional wisdom used to be just go home and rest after chemo treatment. But now that appears to be the worst thing you can do.  Exercise has been shown to actually reduce fatigue during chemotherapy.

The American Cancer Society says that people receiving chemotherapy who also exercise experience these benefits:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Less decline in physical functioning
  • Significantly less fatigue and emotional distress
  • Better sleep
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Fewer side effects

“In addition, just the act of exercising can help you feel like you have more control over your body and your life—an important issue for people who are living with the uncertainties that come with a cancer diagnosis,” says Harry Raftopoulos, M.D., respiratory oncologist in New York City and author of Exercises for Chemotherapy Patients.

Read more:Exercise Can Ease Fatigue of Chemotherapy

The benefits of exercise, particularly as we get older are well documented but the role of exercise in cancer treatment and recovery is something we should all be aware of.

In my DVD Cancer- What Now? we  cover not only the importance of exercise but getting professional assistance  from an Exercise Physiologist in planning an exercise program . There is also a section on assistance available to cancer patients in rural and regional areas.


2 thoughts on “Improving The Cancer Odds Through Exercise

  1. JBBC

    While the increase in many cancers is linked to the fact that people are living longer, may thousands of cases could be prevented every year if people ate better, kept to a healthy weight and exercised. We have seen over the past century that, as countries have become more industrialised, people in those countries have become more overweight, less active and eaten more processed foods. It is estimated that a quarter of all cancer deaths are caused by unhealthy living and obesity. It is important that people are made aware of the role that exercise and diet play in cancer prevention.

  2. wellmaxx Post author

    All of us have an obligation to do more to look after our health. Good diet, exercise and regular health checks are the obvious steps to cancer prevention and early detection.

    I did not follow any of that advice and purely by accident was diagnosed with grade 3 Bowel cancer. I tell my sons, both in their twenties, to make sure they have the relevant tests when they reach 40.

    No one likes a colonoscopy, but short term discomfort is way better than a life threatening disease and in my case months of agonising recovery.

    JBBC is a wonderful blog, keep up the great work


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