How Can Exercise Benefit Cancer Patients?


Continuing with my last posts theme regarding diet, exercise and disease process, I am sharing a post with you all today written by Melanie Bowen.  Melanie writes articles over at This post will address the benefits that exercise can have on individuals battling cancer.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and mesothelioma are some of the forms of cancer that are frequently being diagnosed today. In the past, the prognosis for cancer patients was usually not very good. Today, many people are able to overcome cancer thanks to the advances that have been made in medical technology.
In addition to getting the appropriate treatment, there are a number of things that patients can do at home to manage their condition. Exercise is a very effective way to deal with the negative effects of cancer. Below are some of the benefits that cancer patients can reap from exercising:

Boost The Immune System

A person needs a strong immune system in order to fight cancer. Exercise is one of the simplest things that can be done to boost the immune system. It also helps increase the number of white blood cells that the body produces. White blood cells help destroy dead, old or damaged cells in the body. In many cases, exercise can reduce the amount of time that a person needs to spend in the hospital.

Helps Increase Energy

Fatigue is a common side effect of cancer treatments.  According to the American Cancer Society, 70 to 100 percent of cancer patients suffer from fatigue on a regular basis. Exercise helps increase energy.

Helps Manage Pain

Pain is another complaint that is common among cancer patients. During exercise, the body produces more endorphins. Endorphins help alleviate pain naturally and boost the mood. Furthermore, these hormones can help a person relax and get a better sleep at night.

Improve Mood

Depression and anxiety are also very common among cancer patients. The uncertainty of the future is one of the many things that can cause a cancer patient to become anxious and depressed. Exercise has been shown to be very effective at alleviating anxiety and depression.

Reduced Risk of Dying

A British cancer charity surveyed 400 health care professionals and looked at 60 studies that examined the link between physical fitness and cancer. The organization found that breast cancer patients who exercised on a regular basis were 40 percent less likely to die. Prostate cancer patients who engaged in regular exercise were 30 percent less likely to die. Therefore, finding the right fitness routine can be extremely beneficial when battling cancer.


Disclaimer: Please consult with a medical professional before starting any new exercise or diet programs.


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