Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest blogger Liz Davies

Liz Davies has been trying to spread the word on various cancer and exercise topics for the last year or so on many blogs and I was happy to help:

 Exercise and Chemotherapy

Benefits from Exercise  
Exercise has proven to be beneficial for many people going through chemotherapy. There has been a lot of research done on women with breast cancer and there have been impressive results from people who continue to exercise through various forms of treatment. What is very remarkable is a recent study which showed there are benefits to patients who were receiving chemotherapy for inoperable lung cancer.
There are mental and physical benefits from exercise and for these lung cancer patients both types of benefits were discovered.  People undergoing chemotherapy often experience exhaustion, vomiting, pain, depression and anxiety. Exercise is able to lessen and sometimes even eradicate these symptoms.
The patients in the study had stage three and four lung cancer and completed a six-week exercise regimen which consisted of both cardio exercises and strength training. At the end of the six weeks the lung cancer patients had an increased lung capacity and an increase in muscle strength. It was also seen that their mental well-being had also improved drastically and patients had more energy for daily activities.
Many times exercise is not recommended to cancer patients with a poor prognosis. This is true for lung cancer patients, mesothelioma cancer patients and people with other types of cancers with low survival rates like pancreatic cancer patients. Doctors often find a hard time seeing the benefits when it comes to these cases. But through this study it was shown that it is important for patients even with low survival rates to take part in an exercise routine. The physical benefits are important but the mental benefits are extremely significant for patients who are experiencing such an intensely emotional time.
Cancer patients often have a hard time finding the motivation and energy to begin a full fitness regimen. One way for patients to keep a program going is to have the program take place at a gym and to have a personal trainer. There are trainers who specialize in working with cancer patients and they are able to give high levels of motivation to these patients who especially need it. If the plan is to complete home-based training it is very easy to skip exercising.
After patients take steps in creating an appropriate exercise program and begin following it they will be sure to see the results. 

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.


One of the ironies of exercise is that so many of the people that need it the most don't get any. It turns out this is true for those battling severe cancer too...

But, fighting such diseases must be a terrible combination of long term emotional stress punctuated by lots of boring waiting around for heath care professionals to do their thing. I can imagine that exercise could be something stress relieving and providing a feeling of self empowerment....at least SOMETHING is under your control. (I remember ready stories of Fred Lebow (NYC marathon founder) dealing with his brain cancer hospital time by doing laps around the ward..IV in tow.)

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