Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guest Post: An Essay of Sorts!

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you would know that my
father-in-law recently suffered from Esophageal Cancer. He was treated
with chemo and underwent surgery this past summer. The tumor was
gone when the doctors went in (hallelujah!!), however, they opted to remove parts of his esophagus and stomach anyway just to be on the safe side. He also just started his "precautionary" chemo this past week... so this cancer stuff is still pretty close to our family. I know that there are many many people and families suffering from this horrible disease and today I am opening up my blog for a guest post to encourage those who have cancer and for those of you who know someone who does, to take some steps to help make a difference in their lives by being an encouragement to them!

Please read on!

Fitness - A Beneficial Part of a Cancer Fighting Arsenal

By: David Haas

Cancer - six dreadful letters that should never be part of anyone’s personal vocabulary. It is a devastating disease and affects the afflicted as well as their families. However, being diagnosed with cancer is not an automatic death sentence and more people are able to incorporate positive habits and lifestyles that help to improve their quality of life and health. Exercise is often recommended as a means to cancer prevention, however, in recent years, experts have discovered that fitness can benefit those already afflicted with the illness. There are five key benefits in which exercise can help you to fight back against cancer.

The first is an increase in energy. Exercise improves strength and helps to deliver oxygen and key nutrients to your system so that it can run more efficiently.

The second benefit is a boost in mood. Exercise helps to release endorphins, such as serotonin – known as the “feel good” hormone. When released, these neurotransmitters flood your body and help to fight depression and to stabilize mood. This is particularly helpful when patients are feeling down and are depressed about their diagnosis.

The third advantage of exercise during cancer treatment is an increase in strength. Resistance training, such as light weight lifting or Pilates, help to strengthen muscles, while cardiovascular training helps to build endurance. Even lighter exercises, such as yoga, can encourage increased flexibility and help to elongate muscles.

The fourth benefit of exercise is relaxation. Meditation, a mental relaxation and spiritual “exercise”, promotes feelings of peace, relaxation and reduced stress beneficial for all cancer patients. Meditation also promotes deep breathing, which can greatly benefit mesothelioma and lung cancer patients, in particular.

And the last and perhaps most important benefit of exercise, is that it reduces the chances of the cancer returning. Several studies have shown that increased physical activity reduces cancer recurrence and increases long-term survival rates according to Dr. Michelle Holmes, an associate physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr Holmes concluded that breast cancer survivors who walked 5-8 hours per week reduced their mortality rate by 44%.

Although exercise is not a guaranteed cure for cancer, its numerous benefits can definitely improve the quality of life of many cancer patients, whether they have been newly diagnosed, are currently undergoing treatment or are in remission.

I hope that this post has given you some encouragement today! Thank you for taking the time to read it! I know that it helped me realize how important health and fitness are in the recovery process that my father-in-law is going through! Hopefully my family can encourage him to keep a healthy diet and moderate exercise regimen!

Have a great day!!


  1. I voted for you in the flooring contest. I will try to remember to vote more. I hope you win.

  2. Devon, I was diagnosed with colon cancer in July of 2007 when I was just 44 years-old. The doctor got all of the tumor, which had already perforated the colon. I had a colostomy for a year and precautionary chemo for 6 months. It is scary but it made me a stronger person. They estimated the tumor had grown 7-10 years when it was found.


Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear what you have to say!