Exercise against cancer fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most distressing symptoms that cancer patients experience. Fatigue, which shows its effect from the onset of the disease, can continue months or even years after the treatment is completed. That’s why so many cancer patients confine themselves to bed. President of Turkish Physiotherapists Association Prof. Dr. Tülin Düger recommends exercise against fatigue caused by cancer. He advises cancer patients who are confined to home because of fatigue to go outside, ride a bike, and exercise.

Does exercise increase pain and fatigue?

prof. Dr. Tülin Düger made the following recommendations to cancer patients struggling with fatigue:

“It is known that the most important treatment approach against fatigue in cancer patients is exercise. Studies show that exercises and physical activities such as walking and cycling reduce fatigue and pain. With exercise, the patient’s muscle strength and functional capacity increase and he feels less fatigue and pain during his daily activities. In addition, the person’s happiness state increases with exercise; cope with fatigue and pain more easily.

Benefits of exercise in cancer patients

Apart from reducing pain and fatigue, exercise also has important effects such as strengthening the immune system and increasing blood production in cancer patients. It is observed that cancer patients who exercise during the treatment period and maintain their physical activity level recover more quickly and participate in their daily life and business life earlier. Exercise programs determined by the physiotherapist according to the needs of the person and interventions to increase the level of physical activity also contribute to the regular implementation of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

How should the exercises be practiced?

Exercise practices in cancer patients are planned individually. The problems faced by patients during and after cancer treatments differ. For this reason, it would be correct to perform and plan exercises under the supervision of an experienced physiotherapist. In exercise programs applied to cancer patients; muscle strengthening exercises, breathing exercises, balance exercises, flexibility exercises and physical activities such as walking and cycling can be applied every day within the framework of the determined program, accompanied by a physiotherapist and in the form of group exercises.

What should be the frequency of exercise?

The constantly changing exercise program and physical activity intensity depending on the changes in the patient’s condition are determined together by the patient and the physiotherapist. How often it will be done depends on the patient’s needs, complaints and side effects caused by the treatment. The exercise program can continue 3-7 days a week during the treatments, and after the treatments are completed, the exercise program can be continued for life.

Exercise reduces cancer risk by at least 20%

Make sure to do these

  • Make exercise a part of your life.
  • Don’t close yourself at home, be active.
  • Spend time with your family and friends.
  • Take walks outdoors.
  • Take care of a healthy diet.
  • Keep an agenda for the activities you will do during the day and do your hardest work when your energy is high.

What should be considered?

  • Avoid overly strenuous exercises.
  • Do not force yourself by exercising for too long.
  • Do not exercise in very hot or very cold weather.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes while exercising.

Get professional support

If you have difficulty in doing your daily activities due to many problems related to cancer and its treatments and the negative effects of the musculoskeletal system, if you get tired quickly and if you are constantly sedentary, you should exercise. You can get rid of these problems by consulting a physiotherapist about exercise.

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