Cancer Survivors Promote Exercise for Cancer Patients

Today’s post is from a guest blogger, Mr. David Haas.  He is a Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Guest Blogger.   Teresa Tapp and other T-Tapp trainers have worked with cancer patients to help reduce edema and to improve their overall wellness during treatment and recovery so I thought this was a great idea.  I hope you like his article:

Lance Armstrong is probably the single most famous cancer survivor and fitness advocate but he is hardly the only one. Pam Whitehead follows in his footsteps and doctors and researchers are increasingly chiming in with their agreement. The Lance Armstrong Foundation provided the initial grant for the UC Davis cancer fitness program called Triumph. Pam, a uterine cancer survivor, long time supporter of the Livestrong Foundation and member of Cyclists Combating Cancer, does an ongoing fundraising for the program. Not only has she battled and triumphed over cancer, in part by pursuing fitness, but also she has seen five relatives diagnosed with and treated for cancer. In short, she has become a huge proponent of fitness to help improve the quality of life of cancer patients and help them regain a sense of control over their lives.

Fitness programs for cancer patients are generally believed to be a good way to maintain a sense of control over life in the face of this dreaded disease as well as good for a patient’s self image and self confidence. Additional benefits include maintaining a more normal weight, reducing pain and other side effects of treatment, keeping up their strength and generally improving overall quality of life. For cancer survivors — in other words people no longer actively in treatment who are classified as in remission — an additional benefit is that fitness reduces the odds of a recurrence. Anyone who has been through cancer treatment once does not want to go through it again. For many survivors, doing all they can to reduce the odds of a recurrence becomes their new highest priority.

Research increasingly agrees with the pro fitness crowd. What was once considered counterintuitive is becoming something of a trend. Guidelines have been published and institutions have started various fitness programs. The guidelines advocate for fitness programs and also list some reasonable precautions to help make the effort a success. A fitness program for a cancer patient should be tailored to not only their current fitness level but also the type of cancer they have and the type of treatment they are receiving. For example, some cancers cause weight loss whereas treatment for others tends to cause excess weight gain. Obviously, the goals and fitness programs should be different for many different treatments, whether one is going through a common treatment like breast cancer chemotherapy, or a rare one like mesothelioma treatment.

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