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Fitness, Exercise and Surviving Cancer, By David Haas (Guest Writer)

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Fitness, Exercise and Surviving Cancer


Being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating, and enduring through the various treatment regimens can sap the will and strength of even the hardiest of souls. The important thing to remember if you have been diagnosed, whether with mesothelioma, lymphoma or any other type of cancer, is to keep mentally grounded on wellness. This psychological aspect of patient response to treatment is well represented in medical literature, and the efficacy of having a positive frame of mind in treatmentoutcomes cannot be overstated.

Another crucial aspect of surviving cancer that has been shown to be very effective is for patients to engage in fitness training. The latest research clearly indicates that exercise for cancer patients may help them to overcome the deleterious effects of treatment. It seems odd that research is needed to confirm what common sense should tell us. 

Obviously a stronger, leaner and fitter body is more apt to overcome trauma and heal more quickly than one that is not, but Science works on facts, and the evidence is abundantly clear that exercise and eating right can not only help to prevent cancer in the first place, but can help patients overcome treatment effects and prevent cancers from recurring.

Recent clinical trials suggest that women who exercise after completing breast cancer treatment live longer and have less cancer recurrence, as do colorectal cancer survivors and those who have undergone mesothelioma treatment. Exercise benefits cancer survivors in the same ways as other adults, and can also have added benefits specific to cancer patients’ situations by improving mood and feelings of well-being, boosting self-confidence and reducing the fatigue that is so often an issue for those undergoing cancer treatments.

These little boosts in feelings of well being, mood and self-confidence can be key in maintaining the positive frame of mind so essential in responding well to treatment and overcoming cancer. Research shows that after a cancer diagnosis people tend to slow down physically as stress, depression and fatigue from the disease and its treatment take their tolls on the body and mind. The natural response to fatigue and depression is to rest and take it easy, but the consensus of the medical community is that cancer patients and survivors should avoid inactivity as much as possible.

Before starting a moderate to vigorous exercise program always consult your doctor to ensure that the fitness program you choose is the right one for you and your situation.

By: David Haas

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