New guidelines are urging survivors to exercise more, even — hard as it may sound — those who haven’t yet finished their treatment.
There’s growing evidence that physical activity improves quality of life and eases some cancer-related fatigue. More, it can help fend off a serious decline in physical function that can last long after therapy is finished.
Consider: In one year, women who needed chemotherapy for their breast cancer can see a swapping of muscle for fat that’s equivalent to 10 years of normal aging, says Dr. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In other words, a 45-year-old may find herself with the fatter, weaker body type of a 55-year-old. (more…)
With modern treatments, many people with cancer can either be cured or survive for many years, living long enough to be at risk of other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. Some cancer survivors are at risk of recurrence of the original cancer. Some have experienced side effects of the cancer treatment.
Like other adults, cancer survivors should engage in regular physical activity for its preventive benefits. Physical activity in cancer survivors can reduce risk of new chronic diseases. Further, studies suggest physically active adults with breast or colon cancer are less like to die prematurely or have a recurrence of the cancer. Physical activity may also play a role in reducing adverse effects of cancer treatment.
Cancer survivors, like other adults with chronic conditions, should consult their health-care providers to match their physical activity plan to their abilities and health status.