Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Exercise for Cancer Treatment

When diagnosed with cancer and going through cancer treatment, there are many actions that a person can take in order to improve their life and assist in their own treatment. One extremely important thing that many cancer patients may not think of is to participate in regular exercise while going through cancer treatment. Though some people may be reluctant to get involved in exercise, thinking that it will use up energy needed to fight the cancer, many doctors and researchers have announced that doing light, moderate exercise can be extremely beneficial to cancer patients and survivors.

The benefit of exercise has been demonstrated in a number of different cancers, from lung cancer to mesothelioma. One of the most major benefits is the improved physical functioning and lesser fatigue. Doctors have noted that the overall quality of life of cancer patients who exercise is greatly improved.

Another reason that doing exercise is important while going through cancer treatment is that it helps strengthen muscles. There are many potential issues that can arise when a person is limited to bed rest and is not getting regular physical activity. These issues include stiff joints, breathing problems, and bedsores. Even small amounts of exercise and physical activity can assist in avoiding these issues. For those who are caring for a cancer patient, it is important to allow the patient to do as much on their own as possible. Naturally, do not let them attempt a task that they are unable to do, but doing everything for them reduces their own independence, and further limits their physical activity. Encourage small amounts of physical activity, such as taking a short walk every day. Another option is to complete light exercises that work on muscle strength and improved range of motion. Talk to a doctor or physical therapist as to what types of exercises would be most beneficial. Many of these exercises can be completed while the patient is in bed.

Maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is an important way to increase the overall quality of life, and can even assist in the recovery from cancer. Focusing on statistics such as a mesothelioma survival rate are of no benefit; instead take the situation into your own hands and spend time taking action that can be used to help with treatment and recovery. Cancer patients should make sure to set aside time each day in order to get some physical activity, whether it's a walk around the neighborhood, some range of motion exercises, or just getting up and moving around. Friends and family of cancer patients can participate in these activities as well, as a way to spend time with those they care about, and assist in activities that will help with care.

By Jackie Clark

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