Monday, September 5, 2011

Guest Blogger David Haas!

Pediatric Cancer and Fitness

There is little more devastating than diagnosing a child with cancer. Though treatments have come a long way toward raising survival rates and quality of life, the survivors will have to deal with problems created by both the cancer and the treatments for the rest of their lives. Chemotherapy can cause damage to the heart and other vital organs, while radiation can damage the glands. Research has begun focusing on ways to help children overcome this damage, both minimizing the effects during treatment and making full recoveries after the fact.

Fitness is increasingly viewed by the world's top oncologists as an effective and complementary form of treatment and recovery. As treatment facilities catch on to the power of fitness therapy, there is a growing need for licensed trainers specializing in developing fitness routines for cancer patients in every stage of treatment and recovery. For now, it may be best to find a personal trainer willing to do the research and consult with the treating physician in developing a routine. The extra effort is definitely worth it.

How will Fitness Training be Helpful for Children with Cancer?

There are several risk factors that help predict who has a greater chance of receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Two leading risk factors are previous diagnosis and a sedentary lifestyle. A study funded by the National Cancer Institute showed that this double-edged sword is applicable to the survivors of childhood cancer. Not only do these survivors face a greater risk of cancer in the future, they are also at much higher risk compared to the general population for heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Beginning fitness training during cancer treatment may seem like a bad idea, but a growing number of
oncologists are recognizing the need to develop fitness programs that work as part of the treatment team. Until these programs are in place and tailored for children, it is up to care-givers to find the right personal trainer and consult with physicians to implement a program.

Motivation is an important tool, especially for those diagnosed with
mesothelioma and other low-survival cancers. Since motivational strategies vary widely, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an education specialist. The benefits of physical activity during and after treatment are real, and any effort put into establishing a routine early will contribute to the long-term survival and quality of life for the child.

By: David Haas Writer of the Haas Blaag

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