Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exercise Can Help Keep Breast Cancer From Recurring

If you've read this blog for any amount of time you already know that roller derby saved my life. It helped me beat cancer and keeps me cancer-free. Remember the scare I had in December, thinking that the cancer had recurred? I am convinced that because roller derby is such great exercise and a fabulous stress reliever, it was benign. So, in that vein, today I have a guest blogger. His name is Tim Elliott. Tim is very passionate about maximizing cancer patient's mental and physical health and how best to cope with a potentially terminal illness. He wrote a compelling article that I think will be of great interest to you readers. Thanks, Tim!

Exercise Can Help Keep Breast Cancer From Recurring
It’s all too common for patients who are receiving cancer treatments to stay sedentary; after all treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can literally sap your energy, and you can hardly feel like going out to exercise when you’re coping with cancer. However, new studies show that maybe that’s exactly what you should be doing. It’s been shown that working out and regular exercise can help not only improve fatigue and muscle strength and but also body composition and heart and blood vessel fitness.
Body composition in particular is important as it has been shown that women diagnosed with breast cancer live longer and have less chance of recurrence if they exercise. Obesity’s role in the recurrence of breast cancer and in increasing the death rate is becoming clearer and clearer each day. Furthermore, obesity has been linked to higher rates of cancer and recurrence even in environmental cancers such as mesothelioma.
Not only can exercise decrease the chances of cancer recurrence, people who exercise are also more likely to be diagnosed earlier. People who are more comfortable and in touch with their bodies are more likely to notice changes such as swelling or lumps, which are the symptoms of breast cancer, or trouble breathing, one of the symptoms of mesothelioma.
Of course, exercise also has the added benefit of boosting self-confidence and lowering anxiety both of which can be extremely beneficial for people who are coping with a cancer diagnosis.
It’s important to remember that if you do begin exercising, you may need to begin at a lower intensity that you are previously used to and build up more slowly than others. Also, if you are receiving radiation treatment be sure to avoid swimming pools because chlorine may irritate the skin over the treated area.
Ultimately, studies have shown that exercise can help the fight against cancer, and help keep breast cancer and other cancers from recurring.

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