Mesothelioma Treatment: The Importance of Exercise

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs, abdomen, and heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction and manufacturing in the past. While there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients. One such treatment that is often overlooked but can have a significant impact is exercise.

Why Exercise Is Important for Mesothelioma Patients

When people think of cancer treatment, they often think of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. However, exercise can be just as important in the fight against cancer, including mesothelioma. First and foremost, exercise can help improve the overall health and fitness of mesothelioma patients. Cancer treatments can cause fatigue, weakness, and other side effects that make it difficult to perform daily activities. Regular exercise can help strengthen the body and increase energy levels, making it easier to cope with the demands of treatment. Exercise has also been shown to boost the immune system, which is crucial in fighting cancer. When the body is under stress, such as during cancer treatment, the immune system can weaken, making it harder to fight off infections and other illnesses. Exercise can help strengthen the immune system, making it more effective at fighting off cancer cells and other threats. In addition, exercise can help manage some of the common side effects of mesothelioma and its treatments. For example, exercise has been shown to reduce nausea, improve appetite, and alleviate depression and anxiety.

The Best Types of Exercise for Mesothelioma Patients

While exercise can be beneficial for mesothelioma patients, it is important to choose the right types of exercise and to do them safely. Some of the best types of exercise for mesothelioma patients include:
  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Resistance training
  • Aerobic exercise
These types of exercise are gentle on the body, yet effective at improving fitness and overall health. They can also be tailored to an individual's specific needs and abilities, making them safe and effective for mesothelioma patients of all ages and fitness levels.

Tips for Starting an Exercise Program

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and is considering starting an exercise program, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
  • Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
  • Start slow and gradually increase intensity and duration over time.
  • Listen to your body and rest when needed.
  • Find an exercise buddy or support group to help stay motivated.
  • Keep track of your progress and celebrate small victories along the way.
Remember, exercise is just one part of a comprehensive mesothelioma treatment plan. Be sure to work closely with your medical team to ensure that you are receiving the best possible care.

The Bottom Line

Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that requires a comprehensive treatment plan to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. While exercise may not cure mesothelioma, it can be an important part of that treatment plan. By helping to improve fitness, boost the immune system, and manage side effects, exercise can help mesothelioma patients feel better and improve their overall health and well-being.