Exercise is the best medicine, with or without cancer. Cancer is now a common ailment faced by modern man. It has become rampant with 17 million people diagnosed in the year 2018.
Further, it is predicted that around 27.5 million more will be diagnosed in the year 2040. More than half of these cases end up in fatalities, and several more end up with a second diagnosis. Exercise has been shown to help lower the risk of getting cancer.
There has been new evidence suggesting that exercise plays an active role in reducing the risk of up to 13 different types of cancer, some of which include stomach cancer, liver cancer, blood cancer, and even lung cancer.
Let us see why exercise is the best medicine. Physical activity have a positive influence on the body due to a few major factors, which are:
- control of body weight
- its role in reducing levels of estrogen and insulin, which have been linked to certain cancers like breast cancer; and
- its ability to help the body to revive vital biological activities that allow it to fight off and slow down cancerous growths.
Not to mention, exercise is the best medicine, as it has all kinds of other benefits, including:
- reducing blood pressure
- improving heart health
- strengthening of muscles and joints, and even
- improving ones mental and emotional wellbeing
Exercise can also:
- slow down the progression of cancer
- increase the patients' chances of survival
- improve their overall quality of life
Exercise is the Best Medicine as Palliative Treatment
Exercise is the best medicine in cancer treatment. It is because side effects of cancer treatment involve a rather gruesome process of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, whereas recovery from cancer treatment is one of the highest obstacles faced by winners.
The best method to ease the difficult road to cancer recovery is to exercise, without which the body deteriorates and chances of remission decreases. Chemotherapy is an incredibly difficult process that, in effect, deteriorates the body in the process of killing cancerous cells.
The days during and after a chemotherapy session are some of the most arduous and agonizing periods, both physically and mentally. The body is shocked by a large number of toxins that end up making it weak and on the verge of break down.
The patient is unable to carry out the easiest activities, and the mental effects of chemotherapy due to hair loss and other side effects need no mention. But there is hope as evidence shows that exercise can help with that as well.
Many patients have claimed that exercising within the chemotherapy period has greatly helped them to deal with its side effects much better. It has helped them to manage their symptoms better and has given them the strength required to stand up to the weakening drugs introduced into the body during chemotherapy sessions.
A study involving women who were diagnosed with breast cancer showed that those who had followed a specific exercise program had significantly improved physical activity, higher energy, better sleep, and a more positive mental outlook on life.
Exercise is the Best Medicine Types of Exercise that one should Practice
Studies show that simple physical activities or exercises can make it the best medicine. Moderate to vigorous intensity exercise can be significant in reducing risk factors. Hence, it is not necessary for people to immediately get a gym membership and get into perhaps unrealistic and initially unattainable exercise programs.
Simple jogging for 30 minutes every day or playing sports or taking a dance class are good places to start. In times of COVID, even spot jogging is good. The recommended goal is:
- about 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise; or
- 75 minutes of highly intense physical activity such as cycling, swimming, or jogging
Exercises that build up resistance and strengthen a few times a week are also recommended. Once the patient or survivor overcomes that initial fear or laziness of exercise, they can move on to more specialized and customized regimes with the aid of specialists such as physiotherapists under the guidance of their doctor or physiologists.
Exercise is the Best Medicine Time to Raise Awareness
It is high time that exercise is seen as an important component of palliative care as well as rehabilitative care and as an essential prescription for cancer patients. The scientific evidence to back up its tangible benefits is substantial.
Doctors and cancer specialists should collaborate with physiotherapists and trainers to design exercise regimes that promote the strengthening of the body as well as the demotion of cancer-inducing activities in the body.
The benefits of exercise have also been periodically underestimated in its role in not only improving the health of patients during treatment and improving the chances of survival of the patient post-treatment, but also in reducing the risk factors associated with getting cancer in the first place.
Doctors and experts in the best cancer hospitals must make exercise a major part of the conversation on cancer and cancer treatment and rehabilitation. The time has also come to shift the focus onto preventive care.
Although it is difficult in today's world, people who are in their early thirties or late twenties must make it a point to include exercise into their daily schedule. Such activities must be promoted at an early age.
There is hope to slow down cancer, the modern-day plague, by adopting a healthier lifestyle and exercising well before a diagnosis of cancer can be made.