For those who have undergone and witnessed conventional cancer treatment, you know just how ugly breast cancer can really get. Aside from the aesthetic and physical side effects, there are also numerous emotional and mental problems that arise from chemo and radiation therapy.
Of course, there are drugs that can help patients deal with side effects. However, they are not without risk or additional cost. This is why health practitioners are encouraging women in treatment to engage in regular physical activity to help manage the negative side effects of therapy.
It is well known that exercise has numerous benefits for the healthy person including protection from diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. For people in treatment, exercise can relieve more than just the nausea and soreness – it helps foster a positive outlook and lessen the chance of reoccurrence. Susan Brown, managing director of health and mission program education of the Susan G. Komen Foundation had this to say about exercise “The largest study to date followed survivors over five years and found that one to two hours of brisk walking per week was associated with 40 percent lower risk of death overall compared with those who were less active.” In addition, a study published in 2011 revealed that the mortality rate for women who exercised during and after treatment were significantly lower than those who did not engage in physical activity.
Don’t forget to eat healthy as well!
For us though, the best benefit of exercise is that the release of happy hormones positively affects the mood and energy level of the survivor, making it easier to deal with the depression commonly seen in cancer patients.
If you are a survivor, we encourage you to adapt a simple exercise routine. It will help you better manage the ill effects of treatment and give you a much needed boost in energy and mood. If you are a family member or friend, share a fitness plan with your loved one and make it your contribution to his/her recovery. It may not seem like it, but taking a walk around the park thrice a week can make a big difference.