Get in Shape Before Cancer Treatment

Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 09:32 AM

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There's "Celebrity Rehab," "Redneck Rehab" and even "Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock" (none of which sound very, well, rehabilitating). But what we think has enormous power to make you feel better and bounce back stronger is PREhab.

People getting knee and hip replacements have used it for a while - going through intense physical therapy before their operation so they recover more quickly afterward. But now there's evidence that early intervention (prehabilitation) optimizes your health before cancer treatment, too.

Depending on the type and stage of cancer, a new study reveals that physical and psychological therapy before surgery, chemotherapy or radiation reduces hospital time and complications, and improves physical and emotional outcomes.

We know that for most types of cancer, you don't want to put off treatment any longer than you have to. But whether you have breast or lung cancer, there's often a period of time between when you're diagnosed and when you're able to begin treatment. It's during this window that research shows prehab has its benefits.

So if you or a loved one is headed for cancer treatment, ask your doctor about arranging for an appropriate physical-therapy regimen and find out to whom you might go for psychological counseling. Some cancer treatment centers have such services on site; others can refer you to nearby facilities and specialists. Cancer outcomes are improving every year, and it's nice to know that you can do something to help make your recovery as quick and positive as possible

© King Features Syndicate

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