Functional Medicine is as much about removing the causes of chronic disease as treating the disease itself. We believe that many chronic diseases are caused by modern Westernized lifestyle. By providing optimal nutrition, detoxification programs and immune support and regulation we are able to return patients to optimal health, on a cellular level. This makes patients better able to fight disease. It is not until we have achieved these levels of health that we truly treat the disease.
On-going lifestyle changes can improve outcomes and increase overall cancer survival rates. With regular exercise too you can keep cancer at bay. Here we will look at the wealth of research to support the theory that regular exercise can improve cancer outcomes.
Regular exercise is a great way to keep your weight under control or to lose weight. Evidence suggests that overweight people are more likely to develop cancer. Further studies have shown that people who are very underweight (with a BMI of less than 19) or overweight (with a BMI of over 35) had poor overall survival rates compared with individuals who were a healthy weight. This was attributed to non-cancer related deaths as well as a higher chance of cancer recurrence later on.
Several studies show that, independent of other risk factors such as weight, smoking, alcohol consumption and diet, regular physical activity, both household and recreational, was associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risks.
One 2008 study showed that women with breast cancer who exercised for 2.8 hours or more a week after diagnosis had an almost 50% lower risk of dying from breast cancer than those who didn’t exercise.
Even walking can help. Women who walked for more than 3 hours a week at a moderate pace were shown to have improved overall survival rates as well as lower relapse rates than sedentary breast cancer patients.
What Can You Do?
Being diagnosed with cancer comes as a big shock so it’s not likely that you’ll want to go straight to the gym. However, as well as boosting your immunity and keeping you fighting fit, exercise also releases feel good hormones and natural pain killers which can help alleviate high stress levels and promote well-being.
Try to devise a fitness plan that is realistic and that you can stick to most days. This will give you a focus if things get tough and help you to maintain a good exercise routine throughout your treatment and beyond. When you are mid therapy you won’t have the energy to do intensive exercise, especially if you have chemotherapy. However, light exercise can reduce fatigue, improve your digestion and reduce the risk of developing blood clots (thrombosis). Keeping a diary may help you to focus on how well you have done and may help to keep you motivated.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise, during and after cancer treatment will help to keep you healthier and happier, for life. For more information about the range of cancers that we treat and our comprehensive natural cancer treatment program, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.