Keeping active can reduce recovery time and improve physical health after cancer treatment.
Following treatment individuals can exhibit significant physical deconditioning and psychological distress.1, 3 Undertaking or continuing exercise after chemotherapy and other treatments can aid recovery.
A study involving the SolarisCare Collaborative Research Team investigated the impact of prescribing a 12-week exercise rehabilitation plan, post treatment. The programme, comprising of aerobic and resistance exercises, enabled researchers to investigate the effect of exercise cancer related fatigue, quality of life, emotional distress, muscle strength, body composition and overall fitness. 1
Results of this study demonstrated incorporating exercise into a Post Treatment Rehabilitation Plan significantly benefitted patients regardless of age gender or type of illness. Furthermore, whether the programme was undertaken immediately or delayed, patients would gain for the intervention. 1
Numerous studies have established the important beneficial relationship between exercise and cancer2 as an effective and safe method for patients to maintain their physical fitness and reverse adverse side effects.
A qualitative review of exercise’s impact on cancer treatment distinguished three major benefit categories: emergence of continuity, preservation of health and reclaiming the body. Additionally, cancer survivors identified other positive results such as rebuilding everyday life, creating a normal context, re-establishing confidence, and restoring trust in own body and physical potential.3
Advantages of exercising in a group environment extend beyond physical rehabilitation, and can produce added psychosocial benefits.2
With the increasing awareness of the advantages of exercise as a safe, therapeutic and rehabilitative technique, it is the obligation of patients, carers and healthcare professionals to acknowledge and promote the adoption of such measures.
- Furzer, Bonnie J., Timothy R. Ackland, Karen E. Wallman, Anna S. Petterson, Sandy M. Gordon, Kemi E. Wright, and David JL Joske. “A randomised controlled trial comparing the effects of a 12-week supervised exercise versus usual care on outcomes in haematological cancer patients.”Supportive Care in Cancer 24, no. 4 (2016): 1697-1707.
- McGrath, Pam, David Joske, and Michael Bouwman. “Benefits from participation in the chemo club: psychosocial insights on an exercise program for cancer patients.” Journal of psychosocial oncology 29, no. 1 (2010): 103-119.
- Midtgaard, Julie, Nanna Maria Hammer, Christina Andersen, Anders Larsen, Ditte-Marie Bruun, and Mary Jarden. “Cancer survivors’ experience of exercise-based cancer rehabilitation–a meta-synthesis of qualitative research.” Acta Oncologica 54, no. 5 (2015): 609-617.