Dr. Brian Lawenda, board certified radiation oncologist and integrative oncologist, discusses the importance of exercising and eating healthy while undergoing cancer treatment.
It may seem to be cliche, but that apple does apparently keep the doctor away, particularly if you are eating that apple while taking a brisk walk.
Diet and exercise before and after a cancer diagnosis can significantly increase your odds of beating the disease, said Michael Anderson, a board-certified radiologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada.
“Diet and exercise is a very important part to cancer treatment for a lot of reasons,” he said. “You can recover faster from the side effects of radiation for one, and some recent studies have linked cancer to obesity and poor diet as a reason for the recurrence rate of breast cancer.”
Being in good physical and mental shape is better for a patient’s overall well-being and their ability to handle treatments.
“We feel it will be better to tolerate the treatment if they exercise,” he said. “A lot of women who do yoga will do better with radiation both physically and mentally than those who do something else, such as aerobics or nothing at all.”
The U.S. National Cancer Institute, American Institute of Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society each recommend that cancer patients and survivors get a good amount of exercise while maintaining a healthy diet of natural, not processed, foods.
“Exercise helps cope with stress, fatigue and numerous other side effects and symptoms commonly experienced by our patients during and after cancer treatment,” said Brian Lawenda, a radiation oncologist with 21st Century Oncology.