Post by Melissa Merson, Prevent Cancer Foundation
Patients emerging from cancer treatment are accustomed to detailed instructions from doctors regarding medications, radiation, surgery, etc. Yet when they complete treatment the doctor often sends them along with a simple directive to eat right and be physically active. Patients often are frightened by no longer having a protocol to fight their disease and bewildered as to what to do next.
For years there were questions about whether cancer survivors should even attempt physical activity. In 2010, the American College of Sports Medicine, convened an expert panel to review the scientific evidence. The group reached the consensus that, “although there are specific risks associated with cancer treatments that need to be considered when survivors exercise, there seems to be consistent evidence that exercise is safe during and after cancer treatment.”
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network doesn’t advise running marathons or climbing mountains, but the organization says “it’s wise to add some form of regular exercise to your daily life – even during cancer therapy. “ The group advocates “moderate aerobic exercise, such as riding a stationary bicycle or taking a daily walk, coupled with the use of light weights for strength training” to enhance well-being and spur recovery.