Cancer is an abnormal growth of tissue that grows by cellular proliferation more rapidly than normal, shows partial or complete lack of structural organisation, lacks functional coordination with the normal tissue, and usually forms a distinct mass of tissue that may be either benign or malignant. Cancer is a unique disease because it can originate in any organ system, can spread to other organ systems and has multiple aetiologies.
The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport states that cancer will affect 1 in 3 Australians in their lifetime. Causes of cancer are multi-factorial with lack of physical activity being considered one of the known risk factors. Participation in exercise has also been associated with benefits during and following treatment for cancer, including improvements in psychosocial and physical outcomes, as well as better compliance with treatment regimens, reduced impact of disease symptoms and treatment-related side-effects, and survival benefits for particular cancers. Research has been showing that participation in physical activity significantly decreases the risk of cancer and that the survival rate of cancer patients is significantly higher amongst those that participate in physical activity both during and post treatment.
While the causes for many cancers remain unknown, lifestyle factors including physical activity levels are considered contributory and modifiable for some. Since the first report linking physical activity and cancer risk was published in 1922, many epidemiological studies have examined this relationship and found that physical activity as a means of cancer prevention is considered ‘strong’ and ‘convincing’ for cancer, in particular colon/colorectal, breast, prostate, testicular, ovarian, kidney, pancreatic, thyroid, lung and endometrial cancers.
What are the sign and symptoms of Cancer?
Early on, the symptoms of cancer are usually nonspecific:
Later on the patient will develop symptoms specific for the involved organ, such as shortness of breath in lung cancer. Social history is important in the diagnosis of cancer, it is important to reveal occupational exposures to carcinogens or habits such as smoking or ethanol ingestion. The family history may reveal familial predispositions to a cancer.
The effect of exercise on the symptoms of cancer
A summary of potential benefits of exercise during and/or following cancer treatment from The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, include:
Improvements in muscle mass, strength, power, cardiovascular fitness, physical function, physical activity levels, range of motion in joints, immune function, chemotherapy completion rates, body image, self esteem and mood.
Reductions in nausea, fatigue, pain intensity, duration in hospital, psychological and emotional stress, depression and anxiety.
Alone or in combination, cancer treatments including surgery, radiation and systemic chemotherapy or hormone therapy can lead to a range of complications including loss of function (musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary), infections, diarrhoea, pain, numbness, lymphoedema, nausea, fatigue, reduction in bone mass and body composition changes. Cancer and its associated treatment may increase the risk of other common chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Of all the potential side-effects during the following cancer treatment, fatigue is regarded as one of the most common and disabling.
Cancer and the Thrive Clinic
At the Exercise Therapist, we have developed a program that combines mindfulness and meditative cognitive training, HIIT and brain training, which are three modalities that have proven to be effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and stress and improving a patients quality of life both short and long term. Mindfulness-based interventions aimed at reducing psychological symptoms of distress and enhancements of quality of life are increasingly applied and popular in various kinds of setting. These interventions are aiming at the cultivation of an open-minded and non-judgemental awareness of whatever is happening at each successive moment of perception. The Thrive Clinic involves an 8 to 12 week program, where the client can choose between two or three sessions per week depending on their status and availability. The program will aim to reduce your cancer symptoms, and improve overall cognitive function and cardiovascular fitness, through the combination of mindfulness meditation and HIIT. We have already had fantastic results with current clients showing improvements both mentally and physically, just half way through the program.
If you are interested in this program please contact the clinic on 9385 1430 or register your details in the contact form below.
Terms and Conditions - Any exercise program is not without risk and this or any other exercise program may result in injury, serious illness or even death. The risks are higher when you have a pre-existing medical condition or have not exercised for some time. You are responsible for seeking appropriate medical advice before commencing this program. The Exercise Therapist and Elite Health Management disclaims all liability from all in connection with your use of the programs, videos, and seminars or whether or not The Exercise Therapist or Elite Health Management is negligent. If you have commenced an exercise activity in accordance with this program and at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy or physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a doctor.