Should People with Cancer Exercise?

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In a word, YES!

Cancer patients can enjoy the strength and endurance building of an exercise routine.

Over the years, as a nurse practitioner specializing in cancer, I have seen great strides being made in the treatment of many diseases. Research has provided us with a path to some of the best outcomes in the country. As more and more patients come through these treatments successfully, they are left with questions:

  • How do I regain my strength?
  • How do I enjoy good health again?

For years, experts have been realizing that exercise and healing go hand-in-hand. The same holds true for cancer survivors.

On June 4, we celebrate National Cancer Survivorship Day, along with patients and colleagues all over the United States.

Experts recommend that physical activity be a part of the lifestyle of every cancer survivor both during and after treatment. Just ask the Department of Health and Human Services, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Institute for Cancer Research, and the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The ACS has wellness guidelines for adults and children to follow.

  • Adults: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Children and teens: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous activity on at least 3 days each week.
  • Get Moving! Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screen-based entertainment. Doing some physical activity above usual activities, no matter what one’s level of activity, can have many health benefits.

We have developed a formal survivorship program at Sylvester, staffed with caring experts in all areas of oncology. We are are delivering the Survivorship Care Plan, along with a discussion of the patient’s goals, and many different support services that we offer to help each patient to reach their goals. For questions regarding our UM Survivorship program or Survivor Day events, please contact SCCCSURVIVORSHIP@miami.edu.


In Their Words contributor

Adrienne Vazquez, Survivorship

Adrienne Vazquez, MSN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP is a nurse practitioner at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and has been practicing in the field of oncology since 2005.