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Alleviate Cancer Pain and Suffering with Exercise

Cancer remains a disease that is difficult to fully understand. Although a cure has not yet been developed, researchers, scientists and doctors have come up with alternative treatments that help alleviate the pain and suffering that comes with the disease. There are also some treatment options that can help kill off the cancerous cells and in some cases get patients into remission. Some of the treatment options, including mesothelioma treatment options, include activities that can be done every day and in the privacy of one’s home.

Along with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, many cancer specialists suggest that patients use alternative cancer and treatment options to help alleviate pain, whether one is going through treatment for mesothelioma or a more common cancer like colon cancer. Exercise happens to be the most common among these alternative options.

Stiff joints and muscle loss are common among cancer patients. To help prevent this occurrence, exercise, though not intense, must be done. Walking for five to 10 minutes each day or stretching for several minutes each day can help keep the muscles loose and strong. Ultimately, this will help patients rest easier without the pain associated with too much bed rest.

Loss of appetite also happens to be a side effect of the disease, as well as from the other treatments such as chemotherapy. During exercise, the body uses up the energy that is taken in from food in order to be able to work out. This will ultimately increase patients’ appetite as the body yearns to refill what has been used up. The more energy is used during exercise, the more your brain will signal your body that it needs to be fed again in order to continue the process. This cycle of eating and exercising works to help the body feel more energetic and stronger.

Just as it works on people without the disease, exercise helps boost morale. The more a person exercises, the better their body feels and ultimately the better they feel. Exercise is used to relieve the stress and anger or sadness that accompanies such a detrimental disease. Even Pilates or Yoga can help alleviate stress by helping patients focus on their body movements and connecting with the energy around them rather than on their disease.

In prostate cancer patients, 150 minutes per week of exercise reduces by 40 percent the chances of recurrence, and reduces by 30 percent their chances of dying. Cancer patients should discuss the different exercises that are appropriate for each patient and the stage of the disease they’re in.


This article was contributed by David Haas, writer for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance


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