Fitness and Cancer FAQ

According to the Washington State Cancer registry, approximately 16,000 women are diagnosed with cancer each year in the state. We all know at least one such woman.

Medical research shows that fitness post-diagnosis is vital to survivorship. Exercise has been shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, improve sleep, appetite, and mood of cancer patients as well as significantly reduce the risk of cancer reoccurrence in women.

  • According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, physical activity after a breast cancer diagnosis may reduce the risk of death from the disease [1].
  • Another study, conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research confirms that regular exercise increases the survival rate of cancer survivors [2].
  • In a report published in 2006, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that exercise decreases pain, helps cancer survivors feel healthier, and increases participation in daily activities. In a study published in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, researchers similarly found that exercise led to decreased fatigue, pain, neuropathy, thrombosis, and emotional stress as well as improved quality of life, sleep patterns and cognition for cancer survivors [3].

As breast cancer survivor Judy says, “Getting healthy with women who have been through what I’ve been through is the best. TSNW literally helped me gain control of my life”.

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[1] (Holmes, Chen, Feskanich, Kroenke and Colditz. Journal of the American Medical Association 2005; 293:2479-2486
[2] American Physical Therapy Association, June 2004, Vol. 12, Iss. 6; pg 112-114
[3] Constance Visovsky PhD, RN, ACNP; Colleen Dvorak BSN, RN, OCN