In recent years the evidence to support the effectiveness of targeted exercise and cancer has grown significantly. But when is the best time to start exercising with Cancer? Exercise plays an important part throughout the cycle of cancer treatment from prevention, before treatment, during treatment and after treatment.
When it comes to cancer prevention, exercise has been linked with a decrease in the risk of 13 specific types of cancer. These include colon, breast, liver, kidney and esophageal cancer. One of the main ways exercise is thought to decrease cancer risk is through weight maintenance. However exercise can reduce cancer risk through other biological processes such as lowering estrogen and insulin levels, which may lower the risk of some cancers.
Prior to Cancer Treatment
Prior to receiving cancer treatment, whether it is surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy, exercise can assist in a number of ways. Exercise can help improve physical and mental health as well as build up strength before treatment. This can:
- Reduce the length the hospital stay.
- Reduce the risk of surgical complications.
- Improve treatment candidacy.
- Reduce recover time.
- Reduce treatment and post treatment side effects.
- Improve function of daily activities.
During and After Treatment
During treatment exercise is extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to cancer related fatigue. It has been shown that regular aerobic exercise at a targeted intensity can significantly reduce the severity of cancer related fatigue for individuals during and post cancer therapy. Resistance training is beneficial in preventing loss of muscle mass which may offset muscle wasting that often occurs as a result of cancer treatment and prolonged bed rest, and therefore may assist in preventing or reducing the severity of cancer-related fatigue. After treatment, these benefits will continue to improve increasing fitness, strength, decrease risk of lymphedema, improved cognitive function, bone health and body composition. The best time to start exercising for cancer is right now, so get moving and ask the staff at Optimum how we can help you!