As I sat down to write a blog for World Cancer Day, I found this great article from 2017 that validated everything that we believe in and apply when we design programs for cancer survivors at Prakruti.
So instead of writing a blog, I have just abridged this article and highlighted a few areas.
|Initiating Exercise Interventions to Promote Wellness in Cancer Patients and Survivors
Oct 15, 2017
The article discusses exercise recommendations for cancer survivors at different stages of survivorship as defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the impact of acute, long-term, and late effects of cancer and its treatment on the ability to exercise.
Cancer treatment causes profound debilitation that leads to reduced physical function and impairs quality of life. Negative sequelae have been observed across a range of treatment type — from surgery, to radiation, to hormonal treatment and targeted therapies. The declines in physical abilities and physiologic function that are commonly observed in cancer patients can be minimized or prevented with a well-thought-out progressive program of restorative exercise. Exercise during and following treatment has been associated with reductions in cancer recurrence and disease-specific mortality rates of 30% to 60% in breast and colorectal cancers. Exercise also has been found to prevent or ameliorate many treatment-related negative effects — such as fatigue, muscle weakness, declines in cardiovascular function and reduced quality of life.
Only a moderate amount of physical activity is required to achieve many of the protective benefits of exercise. Walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week at a speed of about 2.5 miles per hour conveys health benefits and is an attainable goal for most cancer survivors.
Acute treatment-related side effects are those that occur during active treatment for cancer, when patients are often immunocompromised. Exercise is possible during active treatment and any planned exercise program should be adapted to the individual’s abilities and should focus on improving specific physical limitations.
Long-term effects of cancer treatment are side effects that begin during treatment and linger many months or years after the completion of treatment. Long-term effects often necessitate adapting an individualized restorative exercise program to minimize the risk of injury or lymphedema.
Late effects of cancer treatment can develop years after treatment has ended and may impair the survivor’s functional ability and ability to exercise.
It is time that we change our thinking about caring for cancer survivors and become proactive advocates for restorative exercise during and following treatment. Ideally, restorative exercise should begin as soon as possible after diagnosis to enable the cancer patient to improve his or her tolerance of treatment, and to reap the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. However, it is never too late to refer a survivor to an exercise program. Exercise at any point in the survivorship trajectory helps to maintain and improve functional ability, body composition, and quality of life.
Prakruti SSPC has always believed in individualized exercise programs based on simple patient-centric goal-setting for each phase. We have experts to manage lymphedema while we look after your strength and nutritional health so that you can have better mobility and function.
Do consult us if you or a dear one needs our help.