June 10, 2010 admin

Physical Activity & Cancer

What should come as common knowledge in the year 2010, is that physical activity reduces the risks of certain types of cancer.  However, what is less widely known is the proven benefits of physical activity as it relates to cancer survivors and post treatment.

Various research shows that physical activity will help survivors improve immune system functioning, manage heart health, improve mood and/or self-esteem as well as assist with various weight challenges. (1)

A more immediate benefit of exercise is helping with fatigue; a now recognized side effect of cancer and its treatment.  While doctors used to encourage people with cancer to rest if they felt fatigued, recent studies suggest that physical exercise can help reduce fatigue both during and after cancer treatment.  Unfortunately, further research is still required to determine the best type or intensity of exercise reducing fatigue. (2)

So I congratulate organizations and in particular the sport of Dragon Boat racing.  I couldn’t be more proud of my sister, who rediscovered her love for competitive sports, at the age of 44 as she recovered from her post Breast Cancer treatment.  What an incredible support network that understands the emotional, mental and physical hurdles that survivors must overcome during recovery.

So, knowing that exercise is an important part of healthy living pre AND post cancer treatment, perhaps after you leave this website, you’ll be motivated to throw on some comfortable shoes, (Don’t forget the sunscreen, even if it’s overcast) and go for a leisurely walk.

Sources:

(1)    http://www.cancer.net/

(2)    Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults, Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group, Fiona Cramp, James Daniel, Jan 2009.