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Rest is not Best: Cancer survival through Active Living

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2803
Joined: Nov 2011

was the title of an hour's  lecture given by Dr. Anna Campbell in Dundee, Scotland in January.  She's the leading expert (certainly in the UK, at least) on the important role of exercise in the lives of cancer patients, having spent about the last twelve years teaching and researching on that subject.  She has a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Science and  is a qualified fitness instructor but she also knows plenty about the science of cancer - her B Sc was in immunology and she has a Doctorate in Biochemistry. 

It was an evening lecture, open to the general public, so it's not pitched at a scientific level but it gives a very good, well-illustrated and understandable treatment of an important topic, enlivened by a Glaswegian sense of humour and West Coast (of Scotland!) accent.

It's focused on patients undergoing chemo/radiotherapy, across the major forms of cancer, and has wide applicability (but of course it isn't relevant to the period immediately following major surgery, when modest levels of activity and adequate rest is essential, as we all know and some have learnt the hard way!).

Not everyone will be interested, or have an hour to spare, but I hope one or two forum members may find it interesting and entertaining.  They can find it here:



faith_trust_and_a_little_bit_of_chemotherapy's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Jun 2010

That was an intriguing lecture, it confirms my thinking whilst I was in treatment.  

But now I am conflicted...having sat on my rump for an hour watching it.  

All kidding aside, I am passing it a long to nurses at my local cancer center.

Again, thank you for sharing.



Bella Luna's picture
Bella Luna
Posts: 1579
Joined: Aug 2009

My oncologist preached about exercise.  I am a firm believer in exercise as well.  Not only does it make me feel and look better, it improves my outlook on life.  I know that I am doing something good for my body and continue to exercise in the hopes of never having to go down that dreaded path again.

Thanks for the share.



PS  Happy New Year!




SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

I believe it is true, at least it will make you feel better.   The quicker one moves after major surgery the better your recovery will be.  At least with my 20 surgeries, I always felt that moving and doing as soon as possible helped me.

Chemo and radiation to a point.  Your not feeling tip top to begin with but moving around is good for everyone, in moderation.





Clementine_P's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: Feb 2011

Fascinating - especially the long term benefits.  I have always been one to be quite active and now I have even more motivation to stay that way.



DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks for sharing this with us!  I am active and have always felt that it helped in my recovery, especially during rads.


Hugs, Diane

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

Marshfield Clinic has some satellite programs run by specially trained physical/occupational therapists to help cancer survivors get some exercise according to their limitations and strengths. I am not sure how long it has been going on. I assume for quite some times. Unfortuneately, the woman who provides it in my area is a poor excuse for a therapist so I am not participating.

The Livestrong Foundation and the YMCA have programs for cancer survivors, as well don't they? I know that they have been around for a long time now.

I haven't looked at the link, but surgery itself, presents it's own side effects. My surgery left me with severe amounts of pain, even a year later, and bilateral arm & hand as well as truncal lymphedema. Those with surgery side effects should be counted,too.

Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2012

I have had a lot of surgerys and was never told to just stay in bed .Rest yes but to start exercise as soon as I felt like it.

Most of the time it was the day of surgery or the next day to help reduce scar tissue.

LoveBabyJesus's picture
Posts: 1680
Joined: Jan 2011

I am so guilty about not working out!!! My nutritionist Onco said that the survivorship is shared between what you eat and how much you exercise (50/50).

Thank you for sharing.



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