Expert: Cancer patients need to 'stay active'

October 21, 2013 10:29:42 AM

Sarah Fowler - [email protected]


With one out of every eight women being diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime, doctors are encouraging women to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  


Local fitness expert Beth Jeffers said she was surprised to learn the high number of cancer diagnosis that are related to an inactive lifestyle and poor diet choices. 


"One of the surprising facts to me is that one-third of all cancer deaths are related to poor eating habits and poor activity," Jeffers said. "Obesity plays an enormous factor. It really increases your risk for all types of cancer. It all goes hand-in-hand." 


Jeffers was one of the featured speakers at an informational luncheon hosted by Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle last week. Jeffers encouraged the attendees to maintain an active lifestyle throughout their cancer treatments if their attending physician approves it.  


"Research has shown the longevity of women who are cancer survivors is increased if they add a healthy lifestyle," she said. 


Jeffers said the exercise may be tiring and suggested a light walk or short bike ride to maintain an active lifestyle. 


"A lot of people are tired and stop exercising but a light exercise routine can actually help keep them stronger," Jeffers said. 


"Women that are undergoing chemotherapy, once they're cleared by a physical, can do some cardio, stretching, light weight training, it can benefit them." 


Jeffers added that women who have undergone a mastectomy need to try to exercise to regain flexibility. Each individual needs to tailor a workout that works for them, she said. 


"Everything needs to be adjusted on the intensity level," she said. 


"The bottom line is, don't become sedentary," she said.

Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.