Benefits Of Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer Survivors - 310 Blog

Benefits Of Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer Survivors

Oct 06, 2017
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Undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer is grueling on the body because of the side effects with medication slowing down the metabolism. October is breast cancer awareness month and sheds light on more than 252,710 women diagnosed annually. In truth, there aren’t just one or two types, but a surprising 10 types of breast cancer.

Chemotherapy & Breast Cancer Treatments

The first type of treatment is local treatment, which means that the cancerous tumor is treated without affecting the rest of the body. There are two types of local treatments: surgery and radiation therapy.

According to the American Cancer Society, surgery requires removing as much of the cancer as possible. Women often have either breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy with the option of breast reconstructive surgery. Meanwhile, radiation[1] therapy requires either external or internal radiation.

Chemotherapy, hormone, and targeted therapy are all types of drug therapies. They are systematic because they target cancer cells anywhere in the body.

Breast Cancer Treatment & Weight Gain

Benefits Of Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer SurvivorsEssentially, women undertaking chemotherapy due to breast cancer will gain approximately five to eight pounds. In some cases women undergoing breast cancer treatment can gain up to 14 to 25 pounds in a year. This is due to the fact that, chemotherapy treatments often cause fatigue, nausea, and pain. With all of the side effects of chemotherapy, it is no wonder that many women find themselves without much energy or motivation to exercise. When the motivation is there, the nausea and chronic fatigue associated with hormone treatment compound things.

Corticosteroids are another medication that boosts your appetite. According to the cancer network[2]:

“Corticosteroids are commonly used in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer. However, much of this use stems from the experience of practitioners rather than from data collected in controlled clinical trials.”

Though, corticosteroids are commonly known for increasing the appetite, which leads to weight gain in cancer patients.

Recipe For Weight Loss: Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer Survivors

Weight gain is a big issue when undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. It can lead to additional body image insecurities as the disease is alread attacking the breasts. Many hormonal treatments and medication increase appetite, as well as craving comfort foods such as starches and carbs like pasta, rice, bread, and mashed potatoes. Consuming too much of these starches and carbs will rapidly lead to extra weight gain.

Benefits Of Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer Survivors

Also, chemo patients retain fluid, which leads to weight gain. Here are tips to follow to avoid water retention:

  • Keep feet elevated as much as possible
  • Stand for shorter periods of time
  • Wear loose fitting clothes
  • Avoid sitting with your legs crossed
  • Lower salt intake
  • Track daily weight

Why Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer Survivors Matters

According to the breast cancer care site[3], there are many benefits of physical activity after diagnosis. For one, exercise in conjunction with any necessary physical therapy helps to improve range of motion. Even moderate aerobic exercises such as walking for 30 minutes a day, 3 to 4 days a week improves how you feel. Physical fitness post-surgery helps to improve sense of control, self-image and upper body strength. Exercise equally helps your mental health by reducing instances of anxiety, depression and insomnia. Regular fitness after major surgery and therapy increases energy and reduces chances of weight gain.

Benefits Of Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer SurvivorsHealth & Lifestyle Tips

  • Replacing simple carbs and unnecessary starches with complex carbs like vegetables plus lean protein or meat is a recipe for weight loss.
  • Get regular exercise by tracking it via fitness trackers that help you count your daily steps. Fitness trackers help with motivation because it’s a visual reminder of how much exercise you’re getting during the day and how many calories you’ve burned.
  • Join a supportive weight loss group in conjunction with other supportive breast cancer survivor groups.

Recover From Illness + Lose Weight With 310 Nutrition

The best way to lose weight during chemotherapy is to join community Facebook groups that encourage your good health and weight loss journey. 310 Nutrition Community is a Facebook group with more than 176,000 members struggling with weight and health issues, include breast cancer survivors.

Benefits Of Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer Survivors

Many women have recovered from illness and other setbacks by using 310 Nutrition products plus the 310 Facebook Community to get back into shape. Maria Shelton was immobile after a serious accident that injured her shoulder and hip. She discovered 310 Nutrition and lost 36 pounds.

Likewise, breast cancer survivors have uncovered the benefits of healthy nutrition supplements that 310 Nutrition offers. Janet Valdes is a 2-time breast cancer survivor,  first diagnosed in 1998 when her daughter was just 6 months old! Not every cancer patient ends up needing chemotherapy, especially if doctors can catch it early. Valdes would receive 36 rounds of radiation treatments the first time. Then, just four years ago, breast cancer would return for a second round. Luckily, doctors caught Janet’s cancer in the early stages both times. In discovering 310 Nutrition and the 310 Nutrition Facebook community, Janet now uses 310 meal replacement shakes in conjunction with healthier eating habits and walks 3 miles a day to lose weight. In 11 weeks, Janet Valdes is now 18 pounds lighter, halfway to her weight loss goal.

Benefits Of Exercise For Chemotherapy Patients & Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast Cancer & Moral Support

Breast cancer is a devastating disease with rounds of chemotherapy and cancer treatments that can take a toll. However, being in a supportive community makes all the difference when it comes to recovery.

With the right support, nutrition, and guidance weight loss is possible. Join our 310 Nutrition Community today and get encouraged to lose the pounds you’ve been hoping to shed. 310 Nutrition is also offering 40% off of our lifestyle starter kit and 40% off of our lifestyle premium kit and receive a pink shaker cup for free with all orders.

#BreastCancerAwareness

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/treatment/radiation-for-breast-cancer.html

[2] http://www.cancernetwork.com/review-article/corticosteroids-advanced-cancer

[3] http://www.thebreastcaresite.com/after-surgery/physical-activities/

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30 Comments

  1. This is a wonderful post. My neighbor is going through chemo and she was told to excercise. I’m sharing your article and maybe she will starts walking with me again.

    Reply
    • Oh, thanks for sharing the article. I can only imagine how the fatigue due to treatment lowers energy. But, starting off by simply walking is progress. I hope for a swift recovery for your neighbor.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for reiterating the importance of health and fitness! My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and I am helping her train for her first marathon.

    Reply
    • Oh wow, that is so amazing to hear and so encouraging. I’ve never ran a marathon, but it’s great that you are training your mother-in-law. Good to hear that she’s better.

      Reply
  3. I never realized weight gain was an issue with breast cancer survivors. Everyone I know that has had cancer ended up losing a substantial amount of weight instead.

    Reply
    • I, too, was pretty surprised by the research. I would imagine that it’s on a case by case basis. Some women lose weight, while others gain. It might also have to do with the type of treatment received. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

      Reply
  4. I would imagine exercise is important. I’m so glad there is a community to help. I love that pink shaker.

    Reply
    • The pink shaker cup is super popular and perfect for breast cancer awareness. I hope you get an opportunity to try one of our products and get a shaker cup for free. 🙂

      Reply
  5. My aunt had breast cancer….had!!!! It was tough watching her go through her journey but she is stronger now for it. 77 years young and acts like a kid when we go to the theme parks. Front row on every roller coaster. This 310 sounds like it’s a great product. I will be looking more into it and want to thank you for the 40% off!

    Reply
    • Wow, your aunt sounds amazing and what an inspiration. Front row on roller coasters, good for her. Enjoying life is key especially after recovering from cancer. I’m glad that the cancer is behind her.

      Reply
  6. Wow, this seems like a great product to help those going through chemotherapy. We all know how harmful chemo is. Hope this product gets more attention and is even recommended by health care providers!

    Reply
    • The great thing about 310 Nutrition is that we offer both Whey and plant-based protein shake options. When undergoing cancer treatments, what you consume matters. 310 Nutrition offers meal replacements that are sugar-free, plus it contains added minerals and vitamins. Additionally, both our Whey and plant-based protein shakes are tri-plex containing 15 grams of protein and 1 Bil CFU Probiotics!

      Reply
  7. It must be difficult when you’re in that state of mind to be able to stay active but you’re right, it’s so important for recovery and mental health too

    Reply
  8. I think it’s great to have such a resourceful article on benefits of exercise not just to the healthy but those undergoing such grueling chemotherapy treatments.

    Reply
    • The more resources at one’s disposal the better, when we educate ourselves it can help speed up the healing process and help us lose weight if its an issue related to illness.

      Reply
  9. Staying as active as you can is so important. I know that when people tend to just lay around they feel worse.

    Reply
  10. I’m so glad to hear that there is a community to help you. It’s really important to get support from people that have been in the same situation like you. It’s new for me to hear that you gain weight, I always imagine that you lose.

    Reply
    • Yeah, weight gain is an issue with some breast cancer patients undergoing treatment and also for breast cancer survivors. Having a community to help definitely makes a big impact.

      Reply
  11. It’s really important to have a support group where you can lean on. It’s a difficult phase and you need someone to talk to about having the same situation. I hope the government and health agencies in my country can implement some ways to ease the pain of the breast CA patients.

    Reply
  12. This is a great and informative article! Exercise is really important that is why I always try to find time to do it.

    Reply

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