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Cancer PreHabilitatation!

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A diagnosis of  cancer, any type, any stage is difficult. Cancer PreHabilitation is getting in shape to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.

I am a long-term cancer survivor. I’m confident that prehabilitating before my aggressive chemotherapy would have minimized the long list of short, long-term and late stage side effects. Further, this concept has been studied for years. There is little downside to prehabilitation-

  • Eat more nutritiously
  • Daily moderate exercise 
  • Nutritional supplementation 
  • sleep
  • mediation

My guess is that you’ve been meaning to build these lifestyle therapies into your day for awhile now. But with work, kids, etc. you might not get around to them. If your like me, your cancer diagnosis has changed your priorities- to say the least.

Further, a growing number of studies document how prehabilitating will help you in all the ways listed below.

What are the pros and cons of a newly diagnosed cancer patient prehabilitating?

Prehabilitation, which involves preparing patients for the physical and emotional challenges of cancer treatment before it begins, has several potential benefits and drawbacks:


  1. Improved Physical Condition: Prehabilitation can enhance a patient’s physical strength, endurance, and overall health before undergoing cancer treatment, which may help them better tolerate the effects of treatment.
  2. Enhanced Surgical Outcomes: For patients undergoing surgery as part of their cancer treatment, prehabilitation can improve post-operative recovery and reduce the risk of complications by optimizing physical fitness and functional capacity.
  3. Better Emotional Resilience: Prehabilitation programs often include psychological support and counseling, which can help patients cope with the emotional stress of a cancer diagnosis and prepare them mentally for the challenges ahead.
  4. Faster Recovery: By starting rehabilitation exercises before treatment, patients may experience a quicker recovery after surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, leading to a better overall quality of life.
  5. Increased Treatment Tolerance: Prehabilitation may help patients tolerate the side effects of cancer treatment, such as fatigue, nausea, and pain, more effectively, allowing them to maintain a higher level of function throughout their treatment.


  1. Time and Resources: Prehabilitation programs require time and resources from both patients and healthcare providers. Some patients may find it challenging to commit to prehabilitation sessions while managing other aspects of their lives, such as work and family responsibilities.
  2. Physical Limitations: Depending on the type and stage of cancer, some patients may have physical limitations that prevent them from fully participating in prehabilitation activities, potentially limiting the effectiveness of the program.
  3. Emotional Burden: Engaging in prehabilitation may add to the emotional burden already experienced by newly diagnosed cancer patients, particularly if they are already feeling overwhelmed by the diagnosis and treatment planning process.
  4. Potential for Disappointment: If a patient’s condition deteriorates despite participating in prehabilitation, they may feel disappointed or frustrated, questioning the value of the time and effort invested in the program.
  5. Not Universally Available: Access to prehabilitation programs may be limited based on factors such as geographic location, healthcare resources, and insurance coverage, leading to disparities in care for cancer patients.

man hand holding his nutritional supplemets, healthy lifestyle background.

I’m guessing that your oncologist is rushing you to begin therapy ASAP. I’m talking about taking a few week to walk, supplement, sleep, etc. You’ll be glad you did.

Are you a newly diagnosed cancer patient? What type of cancer? What stage? If you’d like some basic input on your diet, nutritional supplementation, etc. send me an email David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Preparing for Cancer Treatment? Cancer Prehab Can Help.

“Waiting for cancer treatment to begin can be an emotionally challenging and frustrating experience. Many people have described this time as feeling like they are caught in a state of limbo where life seems to be on hold.

Fortunately, there are ways to take a more active role in your own cancer care soon after the diagnosis. In fact, cancer survivors that became more actively involved in their cancer care felt that it helped them reclaim a sense of control, made the navigation of this difficult experience slightly easier, and even expressed experiencing less stress and anxiety.

One way of getting some control back is through following principles of a scientifically-based approach called cancer prehabilitation or “prehab…”

What is Cancer Prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation typically involves a plan consisting of exercise, nutrition (e.g., dietary advice), and psychological interventions regimen (e.g., counseling, stress management therapy). Some elements of these interventions can be completed by anyone who has cancer, others may require monitoring by health professionals. Getting screened to assess one’s psychological needs, as well as physical fitness and nutrition risk factors may help determine which approach is suitable for you.

Benefits of Cancer Prehabilitation

Better physical fitness

Exercises and physical activities tailored to individual needs may help improve physical fitness, which can increase the body’s ability to tolerate and recover from cancer treatments.

Enhanced psychological well-being

Cancer treatment can be emotionally challenging. Prehabilitation includes psychological support to help patients manage the emotional aspects of their diagnosis and treatment. It may also help increase adherence to treatment.

Increased treatment tolerance

Cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can be taxing. Prehabilitation can help improve physical fitness, and nutrition, which can strengthen one’s ability to tolerate and respond to treatment.

Reduced treatment-related complications

Improving one’s health before cancer treatment can help reduce the risk of treatment-related complications. It may also reduce the impact of side effects and improve treatment outcomes.

Faster recovery

By maximizing physical fitness before the start of treatment, prehabilitation can contribute to a faster recovery. It may also offset deterioration of overall health, and help cancer patients regain strength faster. This can facilitate a smoother transition to post-treatment life.

There is no one way of getting through cancer and cancer treatment. Specific experiences and challenges can vary widely among individuals. Informed by science and healthcare experts across the globe, cancer prehab is one way of getting involved in your cancer treatment, and positively impacting your physical fitness, psychological well-being, and treatment outcomes…”

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