Why Cancer Survivors Should Exercise

Cancer and Physical Therapy

We are fortunate to live in a time where improvements in detection and treatment of cancer have resulted in more and more people living meaningful lives after a cancer diagnosis.

The National Cancer Institute found that “in 2016, there were an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. The number of cancer survivors is expected to increase to 20.3 million by 2026.”

With more and more people surviving a cancer diagnosis, it is important to help people do more than just survive — but thrive.

Unfortunately, the significant effects cancer can have on people leave many with lasting limitations in:

Strength…..

Balance…..

And Endurance…..

which can limit participation in daily activities, hobbies, exercise, work, and other important aspects of a thriving livelihood.

Fortunately, it has also been suggested that undertaking regular exercise can be beneficial in improving health and quality of life after cancer treatment.

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis (fancy terms for collecting and analyzing published studies on a particular topic) published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine decided to take a look at just that. The authors pooled together the available research looking at the therapeutic effects of exercise in cancer survivors.

What they found was encouraging — exercise produced consistent and meaningful improvements in cardiovascular fitness, strength, health-related quality of life, cancer-related fatigue, and depression.

The authors conclude exercise likely has an important role in helping to manage:

  • Physical function

  • Mental health

  • General well-being and

  • Quality of life

These are important and exciting results!

As it stands, exercise is one of the most beneficial and widely available ways to address issues such as weakness, fatigue, and decreased fitness that come with recovering from cancer.

Starting an exercise routine after dealing with cancer can be intimidating, but it does not have to be.

That’s where Karen and I come in. With our extensive training and expertise, we would love to help get you going with an exercise routine that is safe, beneficial, and specific to you and your goals. Are you a New Yorker dealing with cancer looking for a private physical therapist? Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn about how we can best help you.

Kenny VenereComment