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Exercise Can Help You Fight Cancer

Guest post by- David Haas

Without doubt, a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. Living with cancer, undergoing treatment and fighting to survive are never easy battles nor is anything guaranteed. Radiation treatment breaks down your body’s natural defenses and leaves you feeling sick and fatigued. Traditionally, the medical advice was to “take it easy” and this often meant cutting back on exercise and fitness routines. A new school of thought is emerging, however, and there is now a link between cancer, exercise and a continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Whether you have just recently been diagnosed with cancer, are undergoing treatments or simply trying to improve your health to reduce your chances of getting cancer, exercise plays an important role. According to research presented by the American Association for Cancer Research in 2004, exercise seemed to boost the survival rates among the most active women with breast cancer. In addition to improving chances of survival, studies show exercise may also ease the fatigue of radiation treatment, improve your body’s metabolism and generally improve your quality of life. 

It is common for cancer patients to feel discouraged about exercising or to simply believe they do not have the time or energy to start a routine. According to “Exercise for Cancer Patients,” a guide published by HCA Cancer Care, even doing light exercise, such as walking, for 20 minutes four times a week will result in noticeable benefits. Rest days in between exercise are also encouraged; it helps your body adjust to the physiological changes it is undergoing, both from the exercise routine and the cancer treatments.

As with any exercise routine, it is crucial that you work closely with your specialists and doctors and listen carefully to their advice. Start any approved exercise routine slowly and ease into it. Exercise can improve your quality of life and boost your energy levels, but you can also over do it and actually end up damaging your body or discouraging yourself. Know that the specific type of cancer may limit the amount of exercise your body can handle. Cancers that affect your lungs, such as mesothelioma, may impact how strenuous your routine can ultimately be.

About the author- David Haas is a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to the site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations. 
David can be reached at

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