I was recently contacted by David Haas who is a blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Mesothelioma is the cancer you get from breathing in crap like asbestos. David asked me to share an article he had written recently regarding the importance of staying fit and healthy while fighting cancer. David’s article is reproduced below.
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Being diagnosed with cancer or trying to live through it can be a scary process. The various forms of cancer, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, bone cancer and others are truly terrifying. Mesothelioma Doctors, for example, often have to paint a grim picture after diagnosing a patient.
However, improving your physical fitness may be one of the best things you can do to help treat your condition. While it is not a cure and should not replace traditional therapy, there are many signs that it can help people that have just been diagnosed with cancer or who are going through remission.
One way that physical fitness helps cancer patients is to improve their mood. A recent 12-month study on the effect of physical fitness on cancer found that patients that exercised had increased positivity, better emotional stability, improved self-image and a better image of the future. Women that did not exercise had no improvement or worsened. Exercising releases endorphins which helps give the body a mood boosting burst of energy. Exercise also makes a person feel more in control of their life, as they are not letting a disease tear them down.
Exercise has also been shown to relieve fatigue, increase energy and the overall health of cancer patients. Studies have shown that patients that exercise feel less pain, experience less fatigue and have more energy to tackle the day. During a fight with cancer, this type of energy is vital to fighting the disease. Many people can become wore down due to the disease and the treatments. Keeping a fit body and mind can help avoid this fatigue and improve your ability to fight back against cancer.
Another major benefit of exercise is the decreased risk of remission. Dr. Kerry Courneya, a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Canada states that “Several recent studies suggest that higher levels of physical activity are associated with a reduced risk of the cancer coming back…” She also found that patients that exercised also had a longer survival rate after being diagnosed. Overweight patients after treatment was found to decrease survival time and create a stronger risk of cancer recurrence. She suggested doing “everything possible” to survive longer after cancer, including carefully monitored exercises routines.
Exercise clearly has many benefits for a cancer patient. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.