• 10 Ways Exercise Helps During Cancer Treatment

    Exercise supervised by a physical therapist can help anyone undergoing cancer treatment exercise safely and comfortably during treatment, and remain physically active. It also may relieve many of the side effects of cancer treatment.

    With a physical therapist's help, exercise during cancer treatment can:

    1. Reduce fatigue
    Exercise helps boost energy and endurance during cancer treatment.

    2. Maintain muscle strength
    Safe exercise can help keep your muscles strong.

    3. Reduce stress
    Exercising during cancer treatment can help ward off anxiety, fear, and depression.

    4. Prevent or reduce lymphedema and swelling
    Special physical therapy treatments address lymphedema and swelling.

    5. Reduce pain
    Safe and comfortable exercise is proven to be effective in reducing pain.

    6. Prevent and reduce weight gain
    Staying physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight.

    7. Reduce brain fog
    Exercise has an immediate and long-lasting effect in reducing brain fog.

    8. Reduce bone density loss
    Certain exercises done while standing and moving can stimulate your bones to stay healthy and strong, helping to avoid fractures.

    9. Improve the survival rate
    Research studies have suggested that consistent exercise during cancer treatment may have beneficial effects that improve the outcome of that treatment.

    10. Assist athletes to continue sports training
    Athletes undergoing cancer treatment may not have to give up their sport. A physical therapist can help design a special exercise plan that includes an athlete’s chosen sport, a modified version, or aspects of it.

    For more information, see a Physical Therapist's Guide to Cancer.

    Authored by Andrea Avruskin, PT, DPT