Physical activity is essential for any child, but what is safe if my child has cancer?
by Nicole Culos-Reed, PhD 1 and Carolina Chamorro Vina, PhD 2
1 Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary; Adjunct Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary; Researcher, Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary Alberta
2Adjunct Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary
by Cynthia Barbe , MS, PT, DPT
Historically, patients diagnosed with cancer have been instructed to minimize physical activity, conserve energy, and ask for assistance with activities of daily living due to the fatigue associated with cancer and its treatment side effects. 1,2 This “prescribed” immobility has physiologic consequences including a decrease in cardio-vascular/pulmonary capacity, lean body mass, bone density, muscle strength, ability to fight infections, and memory, and an increase in pain and adipose tissue- leading to a synergistic effect on fatigue.2,3