Physical Well-being

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Caring for Your Mind and Body through Cancer

by Donna Wilson, RN, MSN, RRT, and Diana Sadtler, BS, CPT-NASM, CES

People making the journey through cancer treatment find that life changes in many ways. The road to recovery is different for everyone, but taking care of your mind and body is critical.

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Neutropenia and Risk for Infection

Neutropenia, pronounced nootroh-PEE-nee-uh, is a decrease in the number of white blood cells. These cells are the body’s main defense against infection. Neutropenia is common after receiving chemotherapy and increases your risk for infections.

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Healthy for the Holidays

by Karen Syrjala, PhD

Surviving the holidays with one’s waistline, bank account, and sanity intact can be challenging for everyone, but the season affords specific issues for cancer survivors who are mindful of staying healthy throughout the season and beyond. Here are some tips to help survivors have a healthier holiday season and less stressful new year.

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Exercise Can Help Cancer Survivors, Though Many Are Reluctant to Do It

Numerous studies have shown the powerful effect that exercise can have on cancer care and recovery. For people who have gone through breast or colon cancer treatment, regular exercise has been found to reduce recurrence of the disease by up to 50 percent. But many cancer survivors are reluctant to exercise, and few discuss it with their oncologists.

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The Benefits of Physical Activity for Cancer Survivors

by Jacqui Errico and Debbie Hughes

In June 2010, the American College of Sports Medicine changed its guidelines for people with cancer from recommending that bed rest is best to encouraging survivors to “avoid inactivity.” ACSM’s updated recommendation on exercise and physical activity for cancer survivors advise 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and at least two days per week of moderate-intensity muscle strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups.

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Fighting Fatigue

by Ellen Manzullo, MD, FACP

Fatigue is the most common and often most distressing symptom cancer survivors face. Cancerrelated fatigue is different from the fatigue we all experience in daily living. Cancer-related fatigue is usually more severe, lasts longer, and can have a significant impact on your daily living. Even simple activities, such as eating, bathing, and grocery shopping, may be hard to do when you are fatigued. In addition, normal rest might not help you feel more energetic. Some people may experience cancer-related fatigue even years after completing cancer treatment.

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Reduce Your Risk of Infection

by Jeremy Young, MD, MPH

Having cancer can increase your risk of some infections. The good news is, due to education, more aggressive infection control efforts, vaccination, advancements in diagnostic and therapeutic measures, medications to help re-establish the immune system, and the prudent use of preventive antibiotics, the risk of infection in people with cancer has decreased significantly over the past few decades. In fact, by following a few simple rules, you have the power to greatly reduce your risk.

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Exercise for Cancer Survivors

by Claudio Battaglini, PhD, and Denise Spector, PhD, RN

It has been estimated that the number of cancer survivors in the United States exceeds 13 million and is continually growing thanks to improvements in both early detection and cancer treatments. This is great news! However, cancer survivors often have unique healthcare needs that can significantly affect their quality of life, both physically and emotionally.

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