Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Survivors by Guest Blogger David Haas

My guest blogger today is David Haas.  

David is a cancer patient advocate for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. He writes and researches on the topics of fitness and cancer support groups in order to better the lives of cancer patients all over the United States. You can find his posts at

As someone who has lost several loved ones to cancer, and who has had cancer scares herself, I appreciate what David has to share with us. I hope you will, too. . .

Exercise Can Help

It’s no secret that living a healthy lifestyle has many benefits, but for those who have been diagnosed with cancer — whether they are in treatment or in remission — a regular fitness regimen is essential to maintaining an overall state of well-being.

In a recent study done by Dr. Matthew Buman of Stanford University, a volunteer group of cancer survivors were introduced to a strength training and conditioning program for a period of 12 to 16 weeks. The goal was to attempt to increase physical endurance, strength, and general quality of life among the participants. The analysis measured vitality, stress levels, fatigue, and other psychological elements—all of which showed significant improvements. Post-diagnosis research on women with breast cancer has shown that moderate physical activity can improve survival rates when compared with women who lead less active lifestyles. In fact, an increase in exercise may enhance both insulin and lepton levels, although a definite scientific conclusion has yet to be reached.

The National Cancer Institute is currently conducting a number of studies on the role of physical activity in the quality of life of cancer survivors. According to one report done by the NCI’s Cancer Survivorship Research department, a number of researchers are using exercise interventions to improve survivors’ emotional and functional well-being. While it is not clear if these types of interventions will alter the course of cancer, they hold the promise of reducing cancer-related morbidity and improving quality of life. They also appear to have enormous appeal to survivors eager to reduce stress and ‘take control’ of their bodies after cancer.”

Yoga is also gaining popularity as a holistic addition to the treatment of those suffering from mesothelioma and other types of cancer. Its central focus is on the individual, allowing participants to proceed at their own pace and intensity level. With an array of health benefits including improved flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, reduced stress levels and blood pressure, and increased dexterity and hand-eye coordination, yoga is an excellent alternative to strenuous exercise. 

The innumerable health benefits of physical activity are undeniable. It is especially important for those who have been diagnosed with, or are undergoing treatment for various forms of cancer. When the body is well balanced, the emotional and psychological advantages are invaluable, promoting a greater sense of stability and peace of mind.

1 comment:

  1. Also, studies have shown that people who exercise on a regular basis tend to live longer than those who don't.


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