“Let’s walk down the hallway and get you moving,” I said to my twenty-year-old male patient who had testicular cancer.
Nurses often try to get patients out of bed and moving, as appropriate. Why? We all know that having an inactive lifestyle can lead to more health problems later on in life. The following are more reasons for cancer survivors to exercise: An article in the September 2015 issue of the Oncology Nursing Forum states, research suggests that regular physical activity after cancer diagnosis may significantly improve survival outcomes in survivors of breast and colon cancer. “Large-scale studies have shown that participation in regular physical activity after diagnosis can result in as much as a 50% reduction in the risk of cancer mortality in breast and colon survivors.” “Specifically, walking the equivalent of three to six hours per week after diagnosis has been found to be associated with a significant decrease in the risk of breast and colon cancer mortality.”
Karvinen, K., Vallance, J. (2015, September). Breast and Colon Cancer Survivors’ Expectations About Physical Activity for Improving Survival. Oncology Nursing Forum, 42 (5) 527-533.
There were some days going through cancer treatment that I could barely shuffle down the aisles at Target. Towards the end of my seven-months of chemotherapy, I definitely noticed that I had lost muscle mass and I felt stiff. I began walking around the neighborhood and did stretching. It felt good to move my body. Even though it took time, effort and patience to build my stamina and strength back, I did it. Now, I participate in yoga, walk, and attend spin classes. I’ve also ran/walked three half-marathons.