Diagnosed with Cancer? Your two greatest challenges are understanding cancer and understanding possible side effects from chemo and radiation.  Knowledge is Power!

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Dealing with treatment side effects? Learn about evidence-based therapies to alleviate your symptoms.

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Managing Side Effects- Physical Therapy- Exercise, Stretching…

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These natural remedies for your side effects in general and side effects such as peripheral neuropathy specifically are often overlooked. Here’s the research…

Stretching– it feels good, it alleviates pain and…it reduces your risk of a cancer relapse? Wait, what? For the cancer patient and survivor, inflammation is everywhere. According to the research below, your cancer may be a result of chronic inflammation. Chemotherapy causes aging and inflammation. Aggressive chemo may cause chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is both a symptom of cancer as well as a side effect of therapies for cancer. In other words, cancer can cause inflammation inside you and then the therapy you undergo to get rid of the cancer- chemotherapy and or radiation- also cause inflammation.


While I don’t believe that stretching your muscles is a silver bullet cure for either your side effects or from cancer itself, I consider stretching to be one of many-

  • evidence-based,
  • non-toxic,
  • non-conventional

therapies to manage your cancer as well as managing the many possible side effects from managing your cancer. Please don’t be fooled by the remarkably low-tech nature of stretching.

Fit people doing deadlift exercise in gym. Horizontal indoors shot

I am a long-term cancer survivor. I stretch and exercise, modestly, daily. There is no cheaper, more effective therapy to manage my many long-term and late stage side effects.

If you have been diagnosed with any cancer, if you have undergone chemotherapy or radiation, stretch your body daily. You’ll be glad you did.

If you have any questions regarding evidence-based, non-toxic, non-conventional cancer therapies, please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

PeopleBeatingCancer Side Effects Program

Exercise During Active Cancer Treatment: New ASCO Guideline

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued a new guideline on exercise, diet, and weight management during active cancer treatment in adults.

The main endorsement was for oncology providers to recommend aerobic and resistance exercise to patients who are undergoing active treatment with curative intent, in order to mitigate side effects associated with therapy…

Physical Activity

Supporting the recommendation on physical activity is evidence showing that exercise interventions during active treatment reduce fatigue, preserve cardiorespiratory fitness, physical functioning, and strength, the authors note. Among some patient groups, exercise during active treatment may also improve quality of life and reduce anxiety and depression…”

Stretching Impacts Inflammation Resolution in Connective Tissue

“Acute inflammation is accompanied from its outset by the release of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), including resolvins, that orchestrate the resolution of local inflammation.

We showed earlier that, in rats with subcutaneous inflammation of the back induced by carrageenan, stretching for 10 min twice daily reduced inflammation and improved pain, 2 weeks after carrageenan injection.

In this study, we hypothesized that stretching of connective tissue activates local pro-resolving mechanisms within the tissue in the acute phase of inflammation. In rats injected with carrageenan and randomized to stretch versus no stretch for 48 h, stretching reduced inflammatory lesion thickness and neutrophil count, and increased resolvin (RvD1) concentrations within lesions.

Furthermore, subcutaneous resolvin injection mimicked the effect of stretching. In ex vivo experiments, stretching of connective tissue reduced the migration of neutrophils and increased tissue RvD1 concentration. These results demonstrate a direct mechanical impact of stretching on inflammation-regulation mechanisms within connective tissue.”

Selective killing of transformed cells by mechanical stretch

“Cancer cells differ from normal cells in several important features like anchorage independence, Warburg effect and mechanosensing. Further, in recent studies, they respond aberrantly to external mechanical distortion.

Consistent with altered mechano-responsiveness, we find that cyclic stretching of tumor cells from many different tissues reduces growth rate and causes apoptosis on soft surfaces.

Surprisingly, normal cells behave similarly when transformed by depletion of the rigidity sensor protein (Tropomyosin 2.1). Restoration of rigidity sensing in tumor cells promotes rigidity dependent mechanical behavior, i.e. cyclic stretching enhances growth and reduces apoptosis on soft surfaces.

The mechanism of mechanical apoptosis (mechanoptosis) of transformed cells involves calcium influx through the mechanosensitive channel, Piezo1 that activates calpain 2 dependent apoptosis through the BAX molecule and subsequent mitochondrial activation of caspase 3 on both fibronetin and collagen matrices.

Thus, it is possible to selectively kill tumor cells by mechanical perturbations, while stimulating the growth of normal cells.”

Inflammation linked to cancer, but lifestyle changes may help

Experts have long suspected inflammation may play some role in cancer’s development. In 1863, German scientist and physician Rudolf Virchow was the first to make the connection, observing that cancer often develops at sites of chronic inflammation. But researchers have only recently pinpointed chronic inflammation as a primary risk factor for cancer and other serious health conditions. Among the reasons it’s taken science so long to confirm the relationship: Chronic inflammation causes few, if any, outward symptoms. And inflammation by itself is a sign the body is doing its job…

Chronic inflammation’s role in cancer development isn’t a small one. As many as one in five cancers are believed to be caused or influenced by inflammation…

Sometimes, cancer-causing chronic inflammation stems from a disease characterized by inflammation. The inflammatory diseases colitis, pancreatitis and hepatitis, for example, are linked to a greater risk of colon, pancreatic and liver cancers…

HIV increases the risk of other viruses and very rare cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and invasive cervical cancer

Diet and exercise top the healthy lifestyle list, Dr. Lynch says. And even small changes can make a difference, like adding more plant-based foods that contain anti-inflammatory phytonutrients to your plate, and eating more fermented foods, such as yogurt and miso, which contain natural probiotics that reduce inflammation…”



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