Whenever we talk about cancer we immediately think about chemotherapy, the two are synonymous. It is very common for most people diagnosed with cancer to undergo some sort of chemotherapy. Whilst chemotherapy is an essential part of cancer treatment it causes side effects like any other medication.
Most of know the side effects that chemotherapy causes during treatment such as: hair loss, fatigue and nausea but were you aware of the long term side effects or the late onset effects?
Chemotherapy can damage other cells in the body not just the cancerous ones, this means that it has potential to damage other tissues and organs in the body. There is a possibility that there can be damage to the heart and lungs, kidneys and nerves that innervate the extremities resulting in comorbidities. Exercising both during and after treatment helps to lower the risk of these conditions and reduce the severity of all side effects of chemotherapy.
Exercises will help to reduce the impact that they have on your quality of life and manage them to continue doing what you love. Although there is a risk of these long term side effects, exercise can help treat and manage the conditions associated with the side effects.
Cancer survivors have a higher risk of heart disease, joint replacements and diabetes and whilst these could be due to treatment its often due to the lifestyle changes following cancer treatment.
It is well documented that following cancer treatment most survivors adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. This results in higher BMI (body mass index), weight, body fat percentage and waist measure Which we all know are risk factors for most chronic conditions. This lack of physical activity following treatment is one simple change that can prevent these conditions, that’s why it is so important to maintain physical activity following treatment.
It’s important to seek the advice of a health professional to develop a safe and effective exercise program during and following treatment particularly if you are experiencing side effects or have some movement restrictions following radiation or surgery.