The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation


Regular exercise can help reduce the side effects of treatment. All patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do two and a half hours of physical exercise every week, says a report by Macmillan Cancer Support. Being advised to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view, the charity says. Research shows that exercise can reduce the risk of dying from cancer and minimise the side effects of treatment.

In our support group the top seven longest lung cancer survivors all advocate and take regular exercise, with myself, our longest survivor of both small cell and non small cell (18 years) still going strong. Tends to confirm the above recommendation, don't you think..


Recently found this site from the United States

Regular exercise is one of the best things a person can do as a cancer patient or survivor, with studies showing improvements in cardio respiratory fitness, quality of life, fatigue, and depression. However, very few studies have focused on the feasibility, safety, or efficacy of exercise in lung cancer patients. Is exercise safe for people with lung cancer? Is it beneficial? Is a long-term exercise program feasible? Yes. Yes and yes, say experts.

The Results Are In -

4 Replies

yes, yes, yes!

After my diagnosis (stage IV NSCLC) and recovery from surgery (thoracotomy, I was open and close, so tumour is still there) I decided that I would join the gym. I was told by oncologist to 'take it easy' but decided to do my own research. I, like you mentioned, found that people you seem to live longer and beat the odds seem to have one thing in common. They are 'active', whether it be the gym, walking cycling etc.

So that was it, I decided that excersise must be one of the things I can do to beat this thing. I am only 8 months down the line and at the moment I feel great. I am trying to go to the gym at least twice a week, I do a hour of aerobic stuff (bike, rower and treadmill) and an hour weights and strength excercises each time I go. I have only been walking on the treadmill, fast though and on an incline but its a start.

I have met a fellow stage IV lung cancer sufferer on one of the forums who is now 29 months since diagnosis and moutain bikes every night! He's says the dr's can't belive he is still stable and still excercising to that extent.

I think excersise should be highly recomended!

Lyn x


Hi Lyn

I agree that excercise must be good for you, thanks for commenting and to Robert also for the information. I think we have so much choice as to how we can exercise and although there may be some limitations even gentle excercise can be beneficial. The buzz and feelgood factor that is gained cannot be underestimated for both our physical and psychological well being. Well done on making what sounds like a great start in the gym - you put me to shame, I really must make more effort myself...x


Well, good on you Lyn great that you have seen proof for yourself that exercising really does work wonders. In 1993, with small cell, I was given 2/3 months at most and asked for and was given the strongest chemo available. My wife was phoned on 3 occasions and told to rush to the hospital as the medics thought I wouldn’t last the night. When I got out of hospital, I set myself a gradually increasing home exercise programme. To everyone’s astonishment and thanks to my stubborn determined strength of mind, I was back at work one year later. In 2007 I was again diagnosed this time with non small cell. The surgeon was very sceptical if with my medical history and at my age (67) I could manage the surgery. When he eventually saw me looking pretty fit for my age he thankfully changed his mind. Immediately after surgery I again did as previous and started up resistance exercising and just gradually increased the variety and type. Due to both my treatments, my problem is that I just don’t have much effective lung left, but thanks to regular exercise I am making the most of what little I do have. I can still do my garden; I regularly cut the lawns and hedges etc albeit all at a very sedate pace. Thankfully, at my time of life, time is something I have plenty of, the pleasure of being still able enough to do it and enjoy it is more than anyone could have foreseen. So good luck, hopefully, you can be the latest advocate of the importance of keeping fit.


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