Exercise to Treat Cancer

Recently, a TV program on the ABC reported a story about the significantly positive impact that exercise has on improving the health outcomes for patients currently undergoing cancer treatments. Numerous medical studies have found that exercise cannot only reduce the chances of developing cancer but it is also safe during and after cancer treatment. It has been found to help improve quality of life, increase energy levels, decrease the feeling of nausea and decrease the fatigue that many patients report. As 1 in 2 Australians will develop cancer by the age of 85 these findings will have a great impact on how we approach treatment plans for cancer patients.


In the study in question patients had an exercise program prescribed by an Exercise Physiologist and they performed this on the same days they underwent chemo or radiation treatment. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy can see a 10-15% decline in muscle mass. But in the 38 patients in the study, there was no muscle wastage recorded and in some cases muscle mass was actually gained.  The likely explanation for these findings is the increased blood flow patients have during exercise. As tumors have poor blood supply, exercising can help increase the flow of chemotherapy chemicals so that they may get inside the tumour where it’s needed. Soon we may see Exercise Physiology gyms or clinics right next to where patients receive chemo treatment.  If you would like more information on programs Absolute Balance run to aid in the treatment of cancer, visit our website www.absolutebalance.com.au or email us at info@absolutebalance.com.au.

tahnia final

Tahnia Young – B.Sc. Sport, Exercise & Health, Grad Dip. Ex Rehab

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)