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Exercise is Medicine for Cancer

What if there was a pill that could ease the many side effects of Cancer treatment??

The side effects of cancer treatment are many, including: 

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • weight loss/gain
  • reduced bone density
  • lymphoedema
  • low mood
  • neuropathy
  • muscle weakness
  • reduced balance
  • loss of range of
  • movement
  • incontinence

That pill is called: EXERCISE!!

And the Clinical Oncology Association of Australia recommends that all patients undergoing treatment for cancer should be prescribed exercise in conjunction with their treatment.

How much and what kind of exercise should I do?

The current recommended guidelines are:

  • 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week 

or

  • 75 mins of vigorous intesnity aerobic exercise per week

Can I lift weights?

YES!! a tailored exercise program that incorporates resistance training (weights) has been shown to:

  • prevent lymphoedema
  • decrease symptoms of
  • lymphoedema
  • improve bone density
  • improve strength
  • assist with weight loss

What if I’m too tired to exercise?

Cancer related fatigue is one the most common side effects of treatment. Under the guidance of your oncology exercise professional, the correct dose of exercise can greatly help to reduce fatigue.

It can be very hard to find the motivation to exercise when going through treatment, due to the fear that it will make fatigue worse but also when dealing with other side effects such as nausea.

However, it is this decline in activity that leads to loss of fitness and strength, that makes lethargy and fatigue worse.

Some movement and activity is better than none. Even a walk around the block will help.

The evidence suggests that 3 x 30 min moderate aerobic exercise sessions per week, can greatly help to manage fatigue.

Current Evidence!

There is a growing body of evidence to show that continuing with regular exercise after a cancer diagnosis can:

  • reduce cancer related and all cause mortality in breast, prostate and colorectal cancer
  • prevent recurrence of disease
  • prevent 7 types of cancer: bladder, breast, colon, oesophageal, kidney, stomach and endometrial.

And finally, your mental health will also benefit from regular exercise! It’s a good medicine to take. Let us help you get the dose right.

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