We have already looked this month at how exercise and lifestyle changes can improve the overall outcomes of cancer patient. But exercising throughout treatment can also help to reduce cancer-related fatigue, improve psychological well-being and quality of life. Here we will take a look at a range of studies that support the physical and emotional benefits of exercise on cancer patients.

Cancer-Related Fatigue

CRF is described as a persistent, distressing, subjective sense of physical, emotional and cognitive tiredness or exhaustion related to cancer or cancer treatment that is not caused by physical activity and interferes with day to day functioning.

Although individuals who undergo conventional cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy are more likely to experience extreme cancer related fatigue, patients undergoing are also susceptible to fatigue as a result of anemia, depression, anxiety or the stress of coping with the disease.

Several studies into the effect of exercise on cancer patients, particularly breast cancer patients and prostate cancer patients show that regular exercise can make a significant improvement to cancer-related fatigue. From walking for 10 minutes 3 times a week, to walking at 70% capacity for half an hour most days, doing as much as you are able to can help.

Try to walk or do some sort of exercise every day if you can. Even if you feel tired, exercise may be what you need to raise your energy levels and alleviate cancer related fatigue.

Psychological Well-Being

Being diagnosed with cancer is a stressful experience. Patients are needed to adjust socially and emotionally to their diagnosis, as well as facing the physical challenges ahead. Every person will react to a diagnosis differently but around 25-30%of patients report significant psychological distress after diagnosis, with the first 3 months being the most stressful. Various studies have revealed that depression in patients with, for example, breast cancer or lung cancer, could have a negative impact on survival rates.

Fortunately, as well as reducing cancer related fatigue, exercise is known to alleviate depression and reduce stress levels. Studies show that exercise during treatment can improve quality of life as well as alleviating depression. What’s more, one study on breast cancer patients showed that on-going exercise after treatment resulted in improved mood, self-esteem and energy levels.

What You Can Do

Find exercises that you can develop at and that you can adjust according to your energy levels. Yoga and aerobic exercise are great for reducing stress and depression and for releasing feel-good hormones. A variety of exercise routines will stop you from getting bored and enable you to exercise on good days and on not so good days.

Alternative Cancer Treatment Mexico uses Functional Medicine to identify potential causes of chronic disease. By addressing these causes we are able to fight cancer with higher cancer survival rates than conventional treatment. If you would like to know more about our Functional Medicine natural cancer treatment programs, contact us.