The prevalence of cancer is doubling every 10 years, with 1 in 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Do you, or someone you know, battle with cancer or have previously undergone treatment for cancer? Did you know that exercise can help in the management of cancer and cancer treatment?
Cancer Council Australia defines cancer as “a disease of the body’s cells. Normally cells grow and multiply in a controlled way, however, if something causes a mistake to occur in the cells’ genetic blueprints, this control can be lost. Cancer is the term used to describe collections of these cells, growing and potentially spreading within the body.”
The prevalence of cancer is doubling every 10 years with 1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85 in Australia.
The most commonly diagnosed cancers in females are:
- Breast (1 in 8)
- Bowel (1 in 15)
- Gynecological (1 in 22)
- Melanoma (1 in 24)
The great news is that there is a 67% chance of survival when diagnosed, with exercise playing a fundamental role in breast cancer management and better prognosis!
EXERCISE? BUT WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT?
Exercise is medicine! Research shows exercise is effective for people living with cancer and may even reduce chances of cancer recurrence.
HOW WILL EXERCISE HELP ME DURING MY TREATMENT?
The below are just a few things that exercise can help manage, whether you are about to, currently, or have undergone treatment. Exercise can:
- Manage and reduce cancer-related fatigue and overall side effects of cancer treatment;
- Maintain lean muscle mass, bone mineral density and aerobic conditioning;
- Maintain mobility post-surgery;
- Improve mood, sense of being connected and social interaction – great for mental health!
HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND OF EXERCISE WILL I HAVE TO DO?
Research shows that the general guideline of 30 minutes a day on most days of the week for cancer patients is sufficient. It only needs to be moderate intensity (meaning you can still read this article out loud and not feel breathless) and can be accumulated in 10 minute bouts throughout the day. Of course, find something you will enjoy!
WHO CAN GUIDE ME THROUGH THE EXERCISES?
Safety comes first, and your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) can provide you with an individualised exercise program that suits your abilities and goals. AEP’s are university-qualified allied health professionals and understand the exercise prescription required to cope with the side effects of cancer and your cancer treatment.
With all physical despair that comes with cancer treatment, why wouldn’t you want exercise, and its long term benefits, to make up an enjoyable part of it all?
Interested to learn more?