Guest Editorial on Cancer & Exercise

Note: Earlier this month I received a request from David Haas, who reads menupause and sent me a compliment. He also asked if he could send an essay on cancer to post. I read the essay and thought it was a good one to pose in Health Flashes. David works as the Awareness Coordinator and Family Hospitality Manager for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. The website is:

Thanks, David!

Keeping Fit Aids Cancer Patients

When a person is not feeling well, the last thing that individual wants to do is to get outside and walk or otherwise exercise. When the doctor shows the patient, who is already fearful and upset, the test results and explains they reveal cancer, exercise is not what comes to mind to beat the odds. Many who are given the grim news of cancer would rather curl up on the bed and wish for a better outcome.

Yet, keeping fit through a balanced diet and exercise is one of the important elements in fighting the cancer whether the cancer is bone cancer, prostate or breast cancer or a cancer like mesothelioma. The doctor sets up a regiment of scans, medicines, surgery and other medical treatment options, but these ongoing treatments are only part of the solution.

When you are exhausted from dealing with the toll of the cancer itself and discouraged and tired from the treatment, exercise provides a positive healthful benefit. According to the National Cancer Institute, researchers already know that keeping fit helps maintain the health in bones, joints and muscles as well as in controlling weight. Studies also show links between keeping fit through physical exercise and a reduced cancer risk for such cancers as that of the uterus lining, prostate and lung cancers.

Keeping fit lifts the spirits, which lessens the temptation to descend into depression, a very real corollary of those dealing with chronic illness. In a story on Fox News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that adults should do at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise on a weekly basis, which include workouts to specifically strengthen muscles. Cancer patients should follow the same recommendation, but how they exercise may vary depending upon what treatments they’re going through and what they are able to do based on their strength and stamina.

Cancer patients who exercise increase their lung capacity and this helps increase stamina, as does a body kept in shape through regular physical activity. Appropriate physical activity lowers the heart rate and elevates the mood. Exercise decreases problems sleeping and increases the energy level and the overall quality of life. Keeping fit isn’t going to cure or prevent cancer all together, but it does help the body stay toned. Keeping fit, then, works with cancer treatment for the best possible benefit and outcome for the patient.

To contact David Haas directly by email: or read the blog:

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