A Good Mix—Activity & Cancer

There aren’t many things that could be a good mix for cancer patients and cancer survivors. But believe it or not, physical activity is good for you, while you are in treatment or as a survivor.

Surviving cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy can leave an older adult feeling exhausted both physically and mentally. Cancer patients can also experience a decrease in their quality of life and physical functioning.

But getting more active has proven benefits for cancer patients and survivors.  The research suggests that physical activity may help to:

Reduce your risk of getting cancer again
Extend the life of some cancer survivors

Physical activity during or after completion of treatment is safe and can help you:

Feel less tired & recover faster
Have more energy
Have better posture and balance
Manage your weight
Develop stronger muscles and bones
Relax and reduce stress
Improve your heart health

What counts as activity?  It can mean going to a gym, swimming, and lifting weights, BUT those are not the only ways to be active. If you like to garden, walk, ride a bike, or dance — these are just some of the activities you can make part of your healthy and active life. You could also try an exercise class, such as yoga, tai chi, dragon boat racing, walking programs, or many other classes.
First, you need to talk to your health care provider. They can tell you if you are ready to exercise as well as how much, how often and how hard.

Our spotlight article on Diane and Gordon Roberts, both cancer survivors, are a true testament of what activity did for both of them. You too can make physical activity a fun and safe part of your new life. Being active helps all older adults lead healthier lives, including cancer patients and survivors.  Start today. Call your health care provider to find out where you can begin, and start to take back the control of your physical and mental well being.

To receive a free brochure on making physical activity a fun and safe part of your healthy life, contact the ALCOA office at:
1-800-549-9799, or mail a request to P.O. Box 143, Shelburne, ON, L0N 1S0.

Click Here for PDF print file



Gordon and Diane Roberts


“I like walking. It gives you a chance to think. It relaxes you. It’s a positive feeling of getting your body in better condition. Whatever the aliment might be that you have, which can be many as you age, you can develop a lot of positive outlooks just from regular walking.” More than 25 years after his bout with cancer, he remains fit.
Gordon is still exercising at the age of 84.




“I have been exercising at the Waterloo Well Fit center for six years now.  I joined when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was so weak. I had lost 26 lbs. in the process of surgery and chemotherapy for 6 months, 5 days a week, then off for 3, then back on for 5 again. I didn’t think I really could exercise too, but my husband was my strong supporter. Now Gordon and I can’t imagine doing anything else on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m.  It has made such a difference in my life. It is just part of our life.”
Diane is still exercising at the age of 70.