If you’re newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, or navigating a grueling treatment schedule, getting in shape may not be at the top of your mind.
After all, in the wake of a life-changing diagnosis, who has time for exercise? You do! Studies show that exercise during treatment not only increases energy levels and boosts mood, but it also promotes better sleep.
Even though scientists don’t have data to suggest that exercise improves prognosis or reduces recurrence for pancreatic cancer patients (they’re working on it!), Harvard Medical School (Boston) professor Christina Dieli-Conwright, Ph.D., M.P.H., says that maintaining muscle mass and strength or physical fitness during cancer treatment may dramatically improve quality of life for pancreatic cancer patients.
The Exercise Challenge
When you’re undergoing pancreatic cancer treatment, myriad factors converge to make exercise a challenge. Unlike other solid tumors, pancreatic cancer may present complications that impact your ability to eat and maintain a healthy weight. To make matters more complex, you may also face nutrient deficiencies, pain, and fatigue.