I recently read a journal article in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management titled, Few Doctors Discuss Exercise with Cancer Patients: Study and I quickly found myself thinking about WHY so few doctors mention exercise to patients as part of the treatment process? After all, doctors are in the business of diagnosing and treatment. Why is it that doctors don't innately prescribe a healthy diet and daily exercise as part of cancer patients recovery/care program when the research is replete with examples of nothing but success? I'll provide a look at a couple of reasons that may peak some interest into why doctors have such a hard time.
Research concludes that daily, consistent exercise can help decreasing that rate of cancer re-occurring by 50%. That's half the chance of cancer popping up in ones life. That miraculous! An interesting point this article posted was that most cancer-fighting patients that exercised pre-cancer diagnosis were more inclined to exercise post-cancer diagnosis without the consultation of their doctors. Basically, if exercise was important before cancer, it remains equally, if not more important after. Many people diagnosed with cancer are unaware of the benefits associated with exercise (and I'll add, a healthy diet).
In comparison to the approaches of the "fad diets" or the "silver-bullet pill(s)," the benefits of exercise aren't as immediate. Despite the fact that exercise leads to a prolonged life, lower morbidity and mortality rates and these findings, many people diagnosed with cancer remain unaware that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to a weakened immune system, a deterioration of muscle strength, and hazardous health problems. Cancer can be defined as a chronic condition, meaning that it takes awhile before symptoms arise and manifest themselves. Having said that, the reason I questioned why doctors rarely suggest exercise as part of a recovery/care plan is because many people diagnosed with cancer in this study would exercise if their oncologists discussed it with them throughout the treatment process.
Hear me out, if exercise can decrease the rate at which cancer re-occurs by 50% and doctors don't automatically suggest it as part of recovery/care plan then doesn't that assume that doctors may have an ulterior motive as to why they don't require it as part of the treatment process?!
That ulterior motive (not in all cases) is what I want to make you aware of. Prevention doesn't pay the bills as much as treatment does. If people are sick then they have a reason to go see a doctor, but if they are as healthy as an ox (as the saying goes) then there is no need to see a doctor. Now, that seems very simple, and it is; preciously my point! It is simple! Doctors that don't have any patients to treat would either have to leave the industry, or change their focus. Since neither of those will happen anytime soon, I'm here to suggest an ulterior motive; maybe doctors continue to be persuaded by Big Pharma (pharmaceuticals) industries to keep patients sick so that they can continue to operate their facilities? Just a suggestion that makes sense. Millions of dollars are spent on lobbying efforts each year focused directly at healthcare specialists. Maybe that's not the case, but why would they waste that much money if it wasn't working in the first place? The research is replete with evidence to suggest that what I've just said is in fact true. Doctors get a higher salary when they perform the bigger, more complex operations versus telling a patient to eat healthier or exercise more. That makes sense, but the fact that doctors advertise for Big Pharma so that they can keep their lights on (it's more complex than that) needs to be addressed. Something needs to be done!
There are more unhealthy, cancerous people in the world than ever before, and it is only going to keep rising unless there are changes made. One of those changes would be to have doctors be more readily excited to suggest exercise to cancerous patients. If that and only that were to take place, 30-60% of both men and women would have a 50% higher chance of spending extra time with their families experiencing life to its fullest and making memories to last a lifetime. Now that is a hope to believe in, an idea to work towards and an opportunity to be worthy of ceasing!