EX­ER­CIS­ING AF­TER BREAST CAN­CER

Ex­erise is a stat­egy for sur­viv­ing & thriv­ing be­yond breast can­cer

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Jen­nifer Small­ridge

Aside from non-melanoma skin can­cer, breast can­cer is the most com­mon can­cer among Aus­tralian women – it is highly likely that you will ei­ther know a breast can­cer sur­vivor, or per­haps you are one your­self. For­tu­nately, 89 out of 100 women di­ag­nosed with in­va­sive breast can­cer sur­vive five or more years be­yond di­ag­no­sis, but the im­pact of treat­ment can per­sist even af­ter re­mis­sion has oc­curred. The good news is that ap­pro­pri­ate ex­er­cise can as­sist with the changes to the body as­so­ci­ated with treat­ment and sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove qual­ity of life. Ex­er­cise is not only safe af­ter breast can­cer, it is now con­sid­ered an es­sen­tial part of man­age­ment be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter treat­ment. Read on to dis­cover the top four rea­sons why ex­er­cis­ing with breast can­cer should be in­cluded at all stages.

1. EX­ER­CISE BOOSTS MEN­TAL PRO­CESS­ING SPEED.

With or with­out chemo­ther­apy, many breast can­cer sur­vivors re­port a de­cline in brain func­tion which af­fects mem­ory, think­ing and con­cen­tra­tion. A study from the San Diego School of Medicine in 2017, found that in­cor­po­rat­ing 12 weeks of reg­u­lar ex­er­cise showed more than dou­ble the im­prove­ments in cog­ni­tive pro­cess­ing speed than those who did no phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

2. EX­ER­CISE AL­TERS TU­MOUR GENE EX­PRES­SION.

Emerg­ing re­search pre­sented at the San An­to­nio Breast Can­cer Sym­po­sium in 2016 have con­firmed what has been found in an­i­mal stud­ies for years – ex­er­cise in hu­mans changes the ge­netic makeup of tu­mour cells. Study par­tic­i­pants in the ex­er­cise in­ter­ven­tion showed up­reg­u­la­tion of the pro­cesses re­spon­si­ble for tu­mour cell death and down­reg­u­la­tion of the pro­cesses re­spon­si­ble for tu­mour growth.

3. EX­ER­CISE PRE­VENTS THE RISK OF CAR­DIO­VAS­CU­LAR DIS­EASE IN BREAST CAN­CER SUR­VIVORS.

For women with non-metastatic breast can­cer, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease is the lead­ing cause of death. In 2016, re­search de­tailed in the Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal

On­col­ogy re­ported that reg­u­lar ex­er­cise re­sults in a sub­stan­tial re­duc­tion in the in­ci­dence of car­dio­vas­cu­lar events, coro­nary artery dis­ease and heart fail­ure.

4. EX­ER­CISE IS VI­TAL DUR­ING CHEMO­THER­APY.

Stud­ies show that be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive dur­ing chemo­ther­apy for early-stage breast can­cer im­proves fit­ness, qual­ity

of life, chemo­ther­apy com­ple­tion rate and dis­ease-free sur­vival. The rec­om­men­da­tions from the re­search were to com­plete 3 x 60 minute ses­sions per week dur­ing this time, in­cor­po­rat­ing a mix­ture of strength and aer­o­bic ex­er­cise.

THE TAKE HOME MES­SAGE.

Al­though breast can­cer treat­ment is as­so­ci­ated with changes in the body, mind and en­ergy lev­els, ex­er­cis­ing with breast can­cer must be con­sid­ered to pre­serve well­be­ing and as­sist at a cel­lu­lar level dur­ing treat­ment, re­cov­ery and be­yond.

The Breast Can­cer Net­work of Aus­tralia has com­piled a fan­tas­tic re­source out­lin­ing avail­able ex­er­cise op­tions which are all over­seen by qual­i­fied health pro­fes­sion­als. At a lo­cal level, the sim­plic­ity of go­ing for a walk with a friend or jump­ing in the wa­ter for a swim are also highly ef­fec­tive ways to keep ex­er­cis­ing with breast can­cer.

Jen­nifer Small­ridge is an Ac­cred­ited Ex­er­cise Phys­i­ol­o­gist at Up­well Health Col­lec­tive in Cam­ber­well, Vic­to­ria; as well as an Aca­demic Lec­turer in the fields of Ex­er­cise Science and Func­tional Hu­man Anatomy.

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