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Friday, March 9, 2012

Cancer and Working out

A great blog by a new friend of ours, David Haas - check out his facebook page if someone you know has cancer - he's got some great information!  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002194392208

Working During Cancer Treatment- Can Exercise Help?

A diagnosis of cancer puts a huge stress burden on anyone having to live through it. There is the delicate subject of letting friends and loved ones know what is happening, followed by choosing between available treatment options while doctors speak of side effects and survival chances. One of the most stressful parts of all this is figuring out how to pay for treatment with the threat of losing the ability to continue working. Though some people will have to quit their regular jobs, at least temporarily, many others will be able to continue working. The deciding factors involve the types of treatment, stage of cancer, type of work, and the individual's health status.

Some of these factors cannot be controlled. Treatment options may be limited, and the stage of cancer development is not open for debate. The type of work may be limited as well, though some people will decide to change positions or find work in an entirely different sector. The individual's health status can be changed, however, with the proper and regular use of exercise.

Holistic, Complimentary Treatment for Cancer
Taking it easy during cancer treatment was once a physician-imposed mandate, but it is rapidly becoming a non-option. The leading research organizations have come out in favor of exercise for all cancer patients during every stage of treatment, from diagnosis to survivor status. The reason for this change is the increasing number of studies pointing to both short- and long-term benefits of exercise for all patients, including those with debilitating types such as mesothelioma and bone cancer.

The chronic fatigue that often accompanies chemotherapy and radiation, in some cases lasting for several years after successful treatment, can be reduced significantly with the use of regular exercise. Studies have shown similar benefits of a fitness program relating to other common symptoms. Over the long term, patients who exercise have an increased chance of surviving, lower risk of recurrence, and longer overall life expectancy.

The reason for these many benefits is that exercise causes changes throughout the body. It increases circulation, providing more oxygen and nutrition to all cells. It stimulates a balanced production and distribution of hormones, including emotion-stabilizing chemicals in the brain. It changes body composition to support a stronger and more resilient metabolism.

Enhancing the Ability to Work
For those with the option to continue working, a regular exercise program can make it more possible. Many people base their self-worth on the ability to work, and just 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics a day can make continuing to work more possible. It may also shorten recovery time after treatment. All cancer patients should speak with their doctors about the benefits of physical fitness and available resources.


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