Breast Cancer Awareness Month 💞🌸🌺💝🎀
For as long as I can remember, October was the month that people wore pink. I remember when I was younger, sitting on the couch with my family on a Sunday afternoon watching NFL Football and this was the month the players would have pink accessories. At that time, that’s all the month of October meant to me – that and the treats we get at the end of the month.
It wasn’t until I was older, and a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer that all the dots were connected. This is when it became more real to me. Someone in my family has now been affected by this disease that, at the time of the diagnosis, I had no idea it is as common as it is. I started asking my friends if they knew of anyone who has or had breast cancer and the answers blew me away as a young girl. Almost all of my friends knew at least one person who had been affected by breast cancer, most of which were people within their family.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian women and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Canadian women. More specifically, 1 in 8 women worldwide are affected by breast cancer. This means that you most likely know someone who has been affected by breast cancer, or you will be affected in your lifetime. Although our early detection and treatment has improved vastly allowing for a significant increase in breast cancer survival rates, those who have been affected by the disease are still left with their own battles such as:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Joint pain
- Mood changes
Luckily, exercise has been shown to offer numerous benefits to prevent, manage and or recover from breast cancer. These benefits are seen physically, psychologically, and emotionally.
Regular physical activity has been associated with a decreased risk of developing breast cancer through:
- Weight Management: excess body fat, particularly after menopause, is a risk factor for breast cancer. Exercise can help control weight and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Hormone Regulation: Exercise can help regulate hormone levels, such as estrogen and insulin, which are linked to breast cancer risk.
- Enhanced Immune Function: Regular physical activity boosts the immune system’s function which can help the body recognize and destroy cancer cells.
Physical Activity can complement traditional breast cancer treatment through:
- Improved Physical Function: Improving and maintaining physical strength, endurance and mobility is especially important during and after treatments i.e. surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
- Emotional Well-being: exercise can provide emotional support for those undergoing treatment by reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Reduced TreatmentSide Effects: exercise can mitigate side effects of treatment such as fatigue, muscle weakness and bone loss.
Regular physical activity can help manage symptoms of those who have already been diagnosed through:
- Reduced Fatigue: Exercise can alleviate cancer-related fatigue which is one of the most common debilitating side effects of cancer and its treatments.
- Lymphedema Management: regular physical activity that is supervised and tailored to the individual’s condition, can help manage lymphedema; an impairment of the lymphatic system due to lymph node removal surgery.
- Pain Management: exercise will reduce pain and improve joint and muscle discomfort with breast cancer and its treatment.
At Longevity Nexum, we embrace the power of pink this October in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 🎀💗
Breast cancer touches the lives of millions, but together, we can raise awareness, promote early detection, and help those in need of support through inspiration and exercise. If you have, or know someone who has been affected by breast cancer, let them know they are not alone! Our team of Registered Kinesiologists are experts in exercise prescription that is 100% tailored to your goals and your needs. Whether it be for prevention, treatment or management, let our team help you!