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Benefits of Exercise for Breast Cancer Treatment and Recovery

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 by inHealth



October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society’s recently published Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014 report shows that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, after skin cancer. Nationwide, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.*

Here at home, Ohioans are greatly impacted by this disease. According to information from Komen Columbus, one case of breast cancer is diagnosed every hour in Ohio, and one woman will die of breast cancer every 5 hours. In fact, Ohio ranks 32nd in the country for breast cancer incidence and an alarming fourth in the country for breast cancer mortality. While awareness of the prevalence of breast cancer is widespread, there are still several topics that are just now gaining attention. One of them is recovery.

We talk about treatment and survival rates; but what we often don’t talk about are the complications associated with recovery. However, there are many and exercise can help to combat them. InHealth Mutual reached out to cancer survivor and cancer exercise specialist Andrea Leonard, founder and president of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute for a Q and A to discuss the benefits of exercise in restoring mobility and vitality in the wake of breast cancer.

With breast cancer, we talk about treatment and survival rates, but there’s a piece to the puzzle that’s missing for quality of life. Please explain?
Andrea: The moment someone is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, they lose temporary control of their life and their body. Their life immediately begins to revolve around appointments with the surgeon, plastic surgeon, oncologist, and patient navigator. Decisions need to be made about surgery, treatment and reconstruction, with very little thought given to much else.

Once the initial storm subsides, the patient is left to pick up the pieces of their life from the ruins. More often than not, they have been released from their surgeon’s care, and sometimes left with little advice on how to resume their life. At a time when their body has failed them miserably--a time when they need someone to take their hand and walk them through the process of recovery--they usually stand alone. Since I began my journey to help improve the lives of cancer survivors, my goal has been to bridge the gap from treatment to recovery.

What are the complications following breast cancer surgery and treatment?
Andrea: The complications range from psychological (poor self-esteem, self-confidence and depression) to physical (inability to move the affected arm and shoulder through its normal range of motion, frozen shoulder, nerve damage, axillary web syndrome, lymphedema, and muscle imbalances that lead to chronic joint pain). The long-term side-effects of treatment include diabetes, osteoporosis, and damage to the heart and lungs.

How does exercise combat this?
Andrea: There are many positive benefits to exercise. They include: preventing muscle wasting, improving shoulder range of motion, decreasing fatigue/increasing energy, preventing/managing osteoporosis and diabetes, improving cardiorespiratory performance, improving sleep, decreasing depression, improving self-esteem/confidence, minimizing muscle and joint pain, and aiding in weight loss.

Many women feel they cannot exercise when they are in treatment or recovery. What are your thoughts about this mindset?
Andrea: It is a terrible misconception. During treatment, exercise plays a critical role in combatting fatigue, improving sleep, increasing appetitive, minimizing muscle wasting, preventing diabetes, improving treatment tolerance, and improving sense of wellbeing.

What types of practitioners do you train to help patients properly perform cancer recovery exercises?
I have trained thousands of health and fitness professionals including nurses, physicians, patient navigators, physical and occupational therapists, lymph drainage specialists, massage therapists, exercise physiologists, personal trainers, and group fitness, yoga, and Pilates instructors.

Where would you recommend women go to find exercise programs if they are undergoing cancer treatment or are in recovery?
The Cancer Exercise Training Institute provides an online directory of nationally certified and credentialed Cancer Exercise Specialists nationwide. The web site also offers two amazing DVDs, Essential Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors II and Lymphedema identification, Prevention, and Management. Alternatively, or in combination with the DVDs, I recently collaborated with Hedstrom Fitness and BOSU to publish Breast Cancer Recovery with the BOSU Balance Trainer. These are all available for purchase at www.thecancerspecialist.com

About Andrea Leonard:
Andrea is a 29-year cancer survivor, who at 15 watched her mother undergo a modified radical mastectomy and the unfathomable suffering after. Three years later, Andrea was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Following a complete thyroidectomy, she struggled with self-esteem in the wake of her new sluggish metabolism and weight gain. Then, fifteen years after the first mastectomy, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the other breast and underwent another modified radical mastectomy as well as abdominal TRAM reconstruction. It was at that point Andrea teamed up with the chiefs of breast surgery at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington University Hospitals, to produce her first book Essential Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors.

Andrea decided to use her personal experience to help others who were trying to take control of their lives following cancer diagnosis and treatment. She founded The Cancer Exercise Training Institute, and has written nine editions of The Cancer Exercise Specialist Handbook. Her latest book, The Breast Cancer Recovery BOSU Specialist Handbook will be released in November on her web site at www.thecancerspecialist.com

Sources:

 


 

Benefits of Exercise for Breast Cancer Treatment and Recovery

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 by inHealth



October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society’s recently published Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014 report shows that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, after skin cancer. Nationwide, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.*

Here at home, Ohioans are greatly impacted by this disease. According to information from Komen Columbus, one case of breast cancer is diagnosed every hour in Ohio, and one woman will die of breast cancer every 5 hours. In fact, Ohio ranks 32nd in the country for breast cancer incidence and an alarming fourth in the country for breast cancer mortality. While awareness of the prevalence of breast cancer is widespread, there are still several topics that are just now gaining attention. One of them is recovery.

We talk about treatment and survival rates; but what we often don’t talk about are the complications associated with recovery. However, there are many and exercise can help to combat them. InHealth Mutual reached out to cancer survivor and cancer exercise specialist Andrea Leonard, founder and president of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute for a Q and A to discuss the benefits of exercise in restoring mobility and vitality in the wake of breast cancer.

With breast cancer, we talk about treatment and survival rates, but there’s a piece to the puzzle that’s missing for quality of life. Please explain?
Andrea: The moment someone is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, they lose temporary control of their life and their body. Their life immediately begins to revolve around appointments with the surgeon, plastic surgeon, oncologist, and patient navigator. Decisions need to be made about surgery, treatment and reconstruction, with very little thought given to much else.

Once the initial storm subsides, the patient is left to pick up the pieces of their life from the ruins. More often than not, they have been released from their surgeon’s care, and sometimes left with little advice on how to resume their life. At a time when their body has failed them miserably--a time when they need someone to take their hand and walk them through the process of recovery--they usually stand alone. Since I began my journey to help improve the lives of cancer survivors, my goal has been to bridge the gap from treatment to recovery.

What are the complications following breast cancer surgery and treatment?
Andrea: The complications range from psychological (poor self-esteem, self-confidence and depression) to physical (inability to move the affected arm and shoulder through its normal range of motion, frozen shoulder, nerve damage, axillary web syndrome, lymphedema, and muscle imbalances that lead to chronic joint pain). The long-term side-effects of treatment include diabetes, osteoporosis, and damage to the heart and lungs.

How does exercise combat this?
Andrea: There are many positive benefits to exercise. They include: preventing muscle wasting, improving shoulder range of motion, decreasing fatigue/increasing energy, preventing/managing osteoporosis and diabetes, improving cardiorespiratory performance, improving sleep, decreasing depression, improving self-esteem/confidence, minimizing muscle and joint pain, and aiding in weight loss.

Many women feel they cannot exercise when they are in treatment or recovery. What are your thoughts about this mindset?
Andrea: It is a terrible misconception. During treatment, exercise plays a critical role in combatting fatigue, improving sleep, increasing appetitive, minimizing muscle wasting, preventing diabetes, improving treatment tolerance, and improving sense of wellbeing.

What types of practitioners do you train to help patients properly perform cancer recovery exercises?
I have trained thousands of health and fitness professionals including nurses, physicians, patient navigators, physical and occupational therapists, lymph drainage specialists, massage therapists, exercise physiologists, personal trainers, and group fitness, yoga, and Pilates instructors.

Where would you recommend women go to find exercise programs if they are undergoing cancer treatment or are in recovery?
The Cancer Exercise Training Institute provides an online directory of nationally certified and credentialed Cancer Exercise Specialists nationwide. The web site also offers two amazing DVDs, Essential Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors II and Lymphedema identification, Prevention, and Management. Alternatively, or in combination with the DVDs, I recently collaborated with Hedstrom Fitness and BOSU to publish Breast Cancer Recovery with the BOSU Balance Trainer. These are all available for purchase at www.thecancerspecialist.com

About Andrea Leonard:
Andrea is a 29-year cancer survivor, who at 15 watched her mother undergo a modified radical mastectomy and the unfathomable suffering after. Three years later, Andrea was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Following a complete thyroidectomy, she struggled with self-esteem in the wake of her new sluggish metabolism and weight gain. Then, fifteen years after the first mastectomy, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the other breast and underwent another modified radical mastectomy as well as abdominal TRAM reconstruction. It was at that point Andrea teamed up with the chiefs of breast surgery at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington University Hospitals, to produce her first book Essential Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors.

Andrea decided to use her personal experience to help others who were trying to take control of their lives following cancer diagnosis and treatment. She founded The Cancer Exercise Training Institute, and has written nine editions of The Cancer Exercise Specialist Handbook. Her latest book, The Breast Cancer Recovery BOSU Specialist Handbook will be released in November on her web site at www.thecancerspecialist.com

Sources: