Book Review | Active Against Cancer | Fight Cancer with Exercise

Active Against Cancer is a book about saving your own life, preserving your health and well being, one breath, one step at a time, during and after cancer treatment. The author, Nancy Brennan, is an ovarian cancer survivor. She says,
“Exercise, in moderation, helps to create the desirable anticancer conditions in your body, helping you fight cancer with exercise ”

Read Active Against Cancer, A Guide To Improving Your Cancer Recovery with Exercise

Be inspired by ten cancer survivors who used exercise to advantage. These survivors have a variety of ages, with different cancers and prognoses.

In this book you will learn:

  •  Ten medically agreed upon reasons why exercise helps to fight cancer.
  •  How to talk with your medical team about your exercise goals and concerns
  •  Simple, adaptable exercise plans for beginners and athletes and in-between for during cancer treatment or afterwards.
  •  Basic information about special, exercise-related medical concerns for cancer patients.
  •  How to enjoy a long-term exercise plan that works for your health.
  • Mind-body techniques that you can combine with physical activity and healing goals.

Brennan writes: “If you eat well, and not too much, and if you get a good amount of exercise, you can actively promote anticancer conditions in the cellular environment of your body.”“Cancer cells create certain conditions as their numbers grow. They change the local cellular environment by changing the biochemistry. Cancer cells need these biochemical conditions in order to reproduce. Sometimes cancer cells are overwhelmed by the immune system and they die.  Other times, the cancer cells’ growth is encouraged by these conditions that they favor, such as chronic inflammation, greater levels of insulin, poorly oxygenated blood, too much cortisol (a natural stress hormone), and excessive estrogen or testosterone.”Anticancer conditions, on the other hand, are bad for the continued uncontrolled reproduction of cancer cells.”

“Exercise, in particular, can reduce levels of cellular inflammation by lowering blood sugar levels and reducing insulin and insulin growth factors. Exercise boosts the immune system, lowers stress levels and brings hormones into balance. Exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight and improves body composition (the mixture of fat and muscle).” Exercise and a proper diet afford us a simple way to change that environment; to make the body less hospitable to cancer cells. If I can offer up no other good reasons to exercise, I offer you this:  Exercise will make you feel better, heal faster,  live longer, and in the words of Evelyn Knapp via Jacqui Errico, “Exercise gave me a sense of control in a situation that was out of control”.

Strength for Life is a non-profit organization that  is comitted to fighting cancer through exercise. It is a wonderful organization that offers free exercise classes and wellness retreats to cancer patients and survivors regardless of location or financial resources. Strength for Life was founded  to honor the memory of Evelyn Knapp, an avid trainer and proponent of exercise during and after cancer treatment,  who lost her battle with cancer in 2005. Evelyn spent a lifetime promoting exercise and proper nutrition to thousands. According to Evelyn, “Exercise gave me a sense of control in a situation that was out of control”.