19/04/2023 / Respiratory System, Lungs and Pulmonology

Exercises for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a serious crisis in this world that doesn’t get the deserved spotlight. If you are one having lung cancer, you can try certain exercises to manage it.

Exercises for Lung Cancer
Keerthana A PKeerthana A P
Keerthana A P
Food Technologist, Engineer & Research Associate
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With the world's attention toward pandemics and subsequent viruses, silent killers like cancers often get ignored. Lung cancer is one of the leading non-infectious killers in countries across the world. Though the treatments for lung cancer have advanced, the death tolls keep rising. At these challenging times, we need to better manage lung cancer than treat them. One of the surprising solutions to these is regular exercise! These can greatly increase the endurance and resilience of your body to withstand the effects of the onset of lung cancer. Here are the exercises that can help you in easing lung cancer.

Causes of Lung Cancer

Before knowing the exercises that can positively affect lung functions, let us know about the causes of symptoms of lung cancer. Here are some of the common causes of lung cancer,  


Causes of Lung Cancer
  • Smoking (including passive smoking)

  • Radon 

  • Air pollution 

  • Family history of lung cancer 

  • Occupational hazards like asbestos

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

The symptoms of lung cancer can vary based on the stage and nature of the cancer tissues developing inside the lungs. The symptoms usually get from mild to severe when you reach the last stage of cancer onset. Here are the common symptoms of lung cancer,

Symptoms of Lung Cancer
  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing

  • Coughing up blood

  • Coughing that gets worse or doesn't go away

  • Chest pain

  • Feeling very tired all the time

  • Weight loss with no known cause

Complications of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the critical cancers and it can cause various complications,

  • Shortness of breath - One of the most prominent symptoms of lung cancer is shortness of breath. You would face greater difficulties in carrying out your daily tasks due to this complication. Exercises for lung cancer are mainly aimed at easing the breath. 

  • Coughing up blood -

  • Metastasis - Cancer that spreads to the body tissues is called metastasis. This often cau

  • Pleural effusion - 

  • Pain - Advanced lung cancer can spread to bones and other areas of the body, causing pain and discomfort. 

Can Exercise Prevent Lung Cancer?

No! Exercises are not for reversing or preventing lung cancer rather they are for managing lung cancer. Exercises improve lung capacity and pain management in patients which would encourage them to seek treatment options for lung cancer. From a psychological perspective, exercise reduces the stress and anxiety which are prevented among recipients of lung cancer patients. 

Best Exercises for Lung Cancer Patients

Here are some of the best exercises that can improve the quality of life and pain management in cancer patients, 

Best Exercises for Lung Cancer Patients

1. Breathing Exercises for Lung Cancer Patients

People with lung cancer usually suffer from breathing issues and suffocation due to reduced lung capacity. At these times, breathing exercises can greatly help you in breathing better without much difficulty. These exercises increase lung capacity and promote the efficiency of breathing even when some of your lungs might be damaged. They also calm your mind and improve your overall mental health which is required to ensure some extreme cancer treatments like chemotherapy. 

2. Stretching Exercises for Lung Cancer Patients

Stretching exercises increase your blood flow to the overall body and promotes body repair. These exercises expand the chest cavity and increase lung capacity. They also decrease body stiffness and particularly help in chemotherapy treatments where muscle stiffness is a prominent side effect. It's very important to have a regular stretch routine to increase body flexibility and motion. 

3. Aerobic Exercises for Lung Cancer Patients

Aerobic exercises like walking, running and swimming improve heart health by increasing blood circulation. Increased circulation ensures the good functioning of your lungs and therefore helps in cancer treatments. Also, aerobic exercises don't feel like a burden and you can do them by truly enjoying yourself. You can also make small lifestyle changes like taking upstairs, walking to regular retail stores or doing household chores. 

4. Strength Training for Lung Cancer Patients

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy usually weaken the muscles. Strength training like weight lifting helps regain muscle mass and increase your strength. Adding on to this, they also increase your posture and balance by improving bone strength. 

Tips for Preventing Lung Cancer

Prevention is always better than cure. Even though the causes of lung cancer are not always predictable, you can still do your best to insulate yourself from possible causal factors. Below are some of the tips to prevent lung cancer,

  • Stay away from smoking and also from people who smoke regularly (as it can cause the effects of passive smoking).

  • Always check the house for the presence of radon as long-time exposure can increase the probability of cancer. 

  • Avoiding work hazards like smoke, dust, and microparticles can help to protect and improve your lungs, thereby preventing cancerous tissues. 

  • Exercising can really benefit you in not only reducing the symptoms but also preventing lung cancer. Do start working out today if you are not already! 

  • Eating a diet full of vegetables and fruits would be able to protect you from possible genetic and environmental factors that influence the cancer tissues. 

Take-Home Points

  • Lung cancer is a major non-infectious killer disease that doesn't receive the deserved limelight. 

  • Exercise regimes can greatly help in building resistance and resilience against lung cancer. 

  • Breathing exercises, stretching exercises, aerobic exercises and strength training can help lung cancer patients.


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