background image
It can help reduce anxiety and stress associated
with the diagnosis and the treatment
Moderate to intense exercise is followed by a
stress-relieving endorphin release. Yoga is great for
flexibility, circulation and stress relief. Everyone can
stretch, no matter what stage of the journey they
are on.
It can aid weight loss
Sometimes successful cancer treatment can result
in weight gain, from a combination of inactivity and
side-effects of some of the medications. Studies
have shown that being overweight following your
cancer diagnosis is associated with decreased
survival time and an increased risk of recurrence in
many different cancer types 7. Getting down to an
optimal weight will protect you from this risk.
It will build muscle
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and
steroids often lead to muscle loss and fat gain
and also increase the risk of thinning of the bones
(osteoporosis). Doing resistance training increases
your muscle mass; this helps to burn fat, but also
helps to strengthen your bones and protect against
It can speed up recovery and fight fatigue
Fatigue is a huge problem during and after cancer
treatment, due to the side effects of the treatments
and sometimes the cancer itself. Although you may
feel that you are too tired to exercise and that your
instinct is to conserve what energy you have left,
you will actually feel better if you get out there and
get moving.
Scientific references available on request from
Listen to Dr Ailsa White here.
Follow her on Instagram @dr.ailsa.white
Charlotte Crowl
Everyone thinks that once the
cancer is gone and treatment
stops we can just pick up where
we left off before getting diag-
nosed - but this is far from the
The journey as a cancer pa-
tient is very taxing, both phys-
ically and mentally. Whilst we
are on treatment, we kind of get
used to routine which is totally different fro the av-
erage 9 to 5 lifestyle. Once the routine comes to an
end, everything can become very overwhelming.
People around you may not quite under-
stand your journey, and the lasting emotional and
physical effects it has on you. Side effects can still
occur even after treatment has finished, and these
things are not really discussed until you notice
something and mention it to a consultant. Constant
fatigue and `chemo brain' are amongst the most
common, but are enough to make normal everyday
activities seem practically impossible.
The cancer is gone, but it leaves you with so
many different emotions. Of course you are happy
it's gone, but if you fall ill or if something isn't quite
right, in the back of your mind your fear is that it
may be back.
Even though we are no longer receiving
treatment, our bodies are still in a state of healing.
Therefore it's important to ease ourselves back in.
Many wonder `what now?'; I feel it's crucial to just
take a step back and really acknowledge what
you've been through, before trying to jump back in
the driving seat of your life.
After such a life changing experience it can
be common for people to want a complete career
change. It's like a second chance, and you want to
start living a life in a way in which you can really
enjoy every moment.
I think it is vital to be mindful of lifestyle
choices and not to slip into bad habits that may af-
fect your wellbeing. After all, if you were on a diet
and you reached your goal weight, you wouldn't
then go and binge on junk food. Yet when peo-
ple finish treatment, some think it's an excuse to