QUEENSLAND, Australia- A study conducted by the University of Queensland has found that exercise benefits may include helping decrease the effects of menopausal symptoms in women who went through cancer treatment.
Suppose you are among the women who survived cancer, or you are probably going through cancer treatment; this report may help you. Exercising may help you avoid the early onset of severe menopausal symptoms that are treatment side effects.
According to Dr. Tom Bailey, a research fellow at the UQ’s School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work, there is a clear connection between exercising and reducing menopausal symptoms.
“Women who remained physically active and met guidelines for more intense physical activity reported fewer symptoms associated with the menopause,” Dr. Bailey stated.
He added, “The main benefits were reduced depressive symptoms and reduced somatic symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, tiredness, muscle and joint pain, as well as some improvement in sleep patterns and sexual function.”
The result also showed that women who stayed physically active and could meet the requirements for more intensive activities had fewer menopausal symptoms.
Dr. Bailey explained that menopausal symptoms are normally experienced by women who have undergone treatment for reproductive, breast, and blood cancers.
These symptoms result from damaged ovaries due to radiotherapy done on the pelvic field, systematic chemotherapy, or ovarian surgical removal. These treatments can initiate ovarian failure.
He also discussed that when perimenopausal or premenopausal women go through cancer therapies or treatment, they can experience abrupt and even irreversible menopause. This kind of menopause has more severe and frequent symptoms than the normal one.
Patients often report these menopausal symptoms caused by treatments to be an uncomfortable side effect that is bothersome once they go back to their normal social and career activities.
For this reason, the Women’s Wellness After Cancer Program has done a clinical trial on a digital holistic lifestyle programme for women cancer survivors who received treatments for early-stage reproductive, breast, and blood cancers.
Within the past two years, the study was participated by over 350 women who went through treatments for the mentioned types of cancer.
The intervention targeted certain lifestyle behaviours, including nutrition, stress management, sleep alcohol intake reduction, smoking cessation, and, of course, physical activity.
According to Dr. Bailey, their group is hopeful that the trial’s results can help inform cancer service programmes that currently do not support post-treatment assistance. He also stated that their next step is creating an exercise training regime for improving cardiovascular and physical wellness.
“Supervised and individualised exercise training that improves cardiovascular and physical fitness could be of most benefit in women for the alleviation of menopausal symptoms, and we hope to investigate this next.”
Moreover, the researcher revealed that regularly doing moderate to vigorous physical training can help decrease the risk of other chronic conditions caused by treatments, cancer recurrence, and even mortality. These are among the exercise benefits that you can experience.
Besides being a research fellow, Dr. Tom Bailey is also an affiliate lecturer at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland.
To get the most from all the exercise benefits, you may ask for physical training recommendations from your doctor.