Too often when cancer patients have finished with their treatment, they are sent out the hospital door with a handshake but very little guidance on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Doctors may not think of the role of exercise in returning to good health and preventing recurrence, but research is accumulating on its value. Find out how exercise can help cancer survivors and others with chronic disease. And learn how exercise can be tailored for individual needs.

Guest: Lee Jones, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University Medical Center. He is the Scientific Director of the Duke Center for Cancer Survivorship.

The Jones Laboratory for Cardio-Oncology Research is located at Duke University Medical Center in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. The photo is of Dr. Jones and his research team.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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  1. Steve K.

    Hiking twice a week for 3 to 5 hours, along with daily walks of about 45 minutes, has greatly benefited my overall health.
    I would highly recommend it to seniors or anyone else who can find the time in a busy work schedule.
    It seems that it is not only the exercise, but also the “getting away from it all” and the “communing with nature” which is, in part, responsible for the, enlivening, rejuvenating, and curative effects.
    See the “National Geographic Trails Illustrated” maps for your area.

  2. Marianna

    The guest on your show about exercise (a show I heard on Dec. 12) suggested that listeners write in about what keeps them exercising. In my case, my motivators are my Walk Aerobics companions. We live in an RV park for active retirees and work out 4-5 days a week, 3-4 miles each time. In our 60s and 70s, we hoot and holler as we kick up our heels, raise our knees, and do other low impact walking steps to Leslie Sansone’s videos. Many of the videos use weights or bands for resistance training; they give us a total body workout while we walk. The most important thing is that the sessions are fun so I keep doing them — they are the high point of my day.

  3. mary ann

    Any show that encourages exercise at any stage of life, through any illness, is helpful This guest, however, needs to be be further educated on the benefits of yoga. I was still a little sweaty from my yoga class when I heard him say that yoga is not exercise. He back-peddled a bit later, but until he studies yoga, and sees how it is an exercise that can be employed by people of all fitness levels, he perhaps should limit his opinion to “I don’t know about that.” Yoga cleanses by encouraging full use of the breath and stimulation of the excretory system. All of that has to be good for building strength to fight diseases.

  4. Skip

    I listen to your show on my IPOD every week while working out at the gym. I have been going to a gym for about 8 years now. I am an early bird gym person. I usually get there about 5:15 and stay for about an hour. Two days a week we do yoga (I call it power yoga because I am usually sweating when we are finished). The other days are mix between weights and the treadmill. I really enjoy the shows. Before I had my IPOD I used to listen on our PBS station whenever I got up early enough. Have learned a lot and have made some changes in my lifestyle. I still need to work on my diet but it is getting better. Thanks!

  5. WMM

    I thought the information was very helpful. I am interested in the effects of alcohol/heavy drinking on cancer recovery.
    Thank you,

  6. Julia

    I found this show absolutely fascinating. I strongly believe that the fact that I was very fit (and had lost 40 lbs over 2 years of working out with a personal trainer and keeping a food diary) before I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last summer, and that I started back to exercising as soon as possible and continued throughout chemo played a big part in my whole well-being and recovery. My scan now shows me cancer free and I certainly want to try to keep it that way. I would like to learn more about Dr. Lee Jones research and also the book you mentioned. ‘Anti Cancer’ by Shriver. Thank you for all your informative shows.

  7. A. Bennett

    Hello, and Merry Christmas to everyone! I’ve got a few concerns, due to my ongoing health deterioration. Please let me know, if you can help me? I’ve an AVM of the brain (L) frontal area of the brain, and three aneurysms in troubled areas that cannot be removed. Also, I’d had a stroke back in 2004 while in college and bi-lateral carpel tunnel syndrome. I’d had surgery back in January 2010. However, have developed a great deal of pain underneath my left finger since such surgery.
    Actually, the doctors want to go back-in and re-do the surgery, while not being able to promise me “any” good results thereafter. Additionally, I’ve got arthritis in my left shoulder (from a landlord not fixing his sliding window), and degenerative bone disease. Severe back pain–I can always tell anyone when it’s going to rain. Not to mention, a slip and fall that I’d had back in 2008 on the same landlord’s property. Do you have any suggestions so far as exercising is concerned, and are there any fruits/vegetables that I can take to help me?
    Lastly, what can I do for myself instead of taking medication(s). Thank you all, and have a Happy New Year!

  8. jenlawrence

    Hi there…I just got done listening to your show. I wanted to comment about my own experience with exercise. I am 36 years old and have never been an athletic person until recently. Earlier this year, a friend asked me if I wanted to train for a half marathon. I agreed and we started running together 3 times a week, slowly increasing our distance every week.
    Come November 2010, I found myself running my very first half marathon. In addition, earlier this year I was diagnosed as being “pre-diabetic” as well as having a cholesterol level of about 235. In August I had blood work done and found out I had lowered my total cholesterol to 190 and my A1C test results, which test the percentage of your hemoglobin that is coated with sugar) had decreased a small amount. I believe the running has affected my life in a profound way.
    The things that help motivate me to continue running are 1) running with a friend and 2) working toward a goal (a future race). I just wanted to share my story. Thanks.
    Jennifer L.

  9. JBryan

    This was an extremely interesting and useful presentation. This ambitious research program has implications both for prevention and healing of cancers and for many other aspects of our health and well-being. I’m looking forward to reading and thinking more of the details of the benefits of exercise on health and healing, and on how they are performing this research. Thank you.

  10. ch

    You asked for personal experiences about value of exercising. When I finally made it to Medicare and saw my doctor, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I immediately when out and bought Wii Fit. I’m on Day 606 of exercising using Wii Fit Plus. I do a combination of yoga, aerobics, strength and balance exercises. The exercises and alendronate have pushed me back up to osteopinea.
    At age 66, I was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease. I’m still using my Wii Fit Plus and am able to handle the exercises well. My ILD is improving (I’m lucky. I have Farmer’s Lung and that can be stopped). With the ILD, I’m in the hands of quite a few doctors. To a person, they and their staff have commented how fit I am. They don’t even use the tag line we seniors get so tired of hearing, “…for your age.”
    I’m sharing my experience because I think Wii Fit Plus is IDEAL exercise for seniors or those with impairments. I’m on day 610 of using these exercises, missing exercise sessions only when I was in the hospital for a lung biopsy or when I am on vacation and out of town.

  11. Harry

    Your show was great today, and your guest educated and knowledgeable. I did however tune out when he dismissed yoga as exercise. He is not broad based in his education or experience. Yoga is many things including a form of exercise. Physical activity can also be exercise for example if I walk five miles to work daily then the walk becomes physical activity, or if I am on an extended hike then my daily hike becomes physical activity.

  12. Joanna Woyciechowska, MD, PhD, BC Neurologist

    Super presentation and from such prestigious place like Duke University!! It is very impressive, that young doctors understand the value of healthy lifestyle. Even if it is the most difficult thing to do: to change own lifestyle and drop unhealthy habits, it is the only way that can bring The US back to health.
    Thank you very much for your presentation. Kindly. JW

  13. CAO

    I listened to show for the first time today and really enjoyed. How appropriate it was on exercise. I am in my 40’s and decided it was time I do something for my self. I get up at 4 every morning. I started walking 2 miles a day and was doing that in about 40 mins., now I am walking 70 min a day a little over 4 miles with incline on my tread mill.
    I’m not counting the pounds I lost but the inches. It’s amazing how much better I feel and have more energy. I really enjoyed the show I felt bless to have great health and not waiting til it was almost to late.

  14. Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for bringing attention to this important topic. I have lived with MS for 15 years and exercise is critically important to maintaining my health. If I go more than 9 to 12 days without aerobic exercise, many of my symptoms that usually remain sub-clinical resurface (tremors, shakiness, weakness,pins and needles etc), my fatigue level goes up markedly and I feel tremendously vulnerable to new exacerbations.
    If I keep my physical activity up, I am symptom-free, energetic and feel quite strong. In fact I have not had a major exacerbation in nearly 8 years. If you met me you wouldn’t even know I had MS. I maintain a very busy and active lifestyle. I regularly ride my bike quite long distances (50 mi and longer). But all that changes quickly if I don’t keep the exercise up. I have found that while aerobic exercise is good and resistance training is good, the combination of both is the best.
    I feel amazing when I am doing both. I am not a professional, but I suspect exercise helps my neurological system operate at optimum at the same time that it keeps my rogue immune system in check so it behaves normally thus reducing the chance of new exacerbations. The effect of exercise is magnified in me because I am dealing with a compromised neurological and immune system. Dramatic is the word that comes to mind. But if this is true for someone like me, I would imagine the benefits are just as dramatic for anyone whether they have or are experiencing cancer or other chronic illnesses. So get out and move everyone!

  15. Lee

    Sorry I could not get on the this morning.
    I am a 77yo 7yr cancer survivor.
    On my 1st visit with my radiation oncologist he advised me to find and take a Tai Chi class. I told him I was currently teaching Tai Chi and Qi Gong. At the end of therapy he told me he was convinced that Tai Chi was responsible for how easily I went through radiation. I am also a runner and do weight training and use exercise machines.
    As for motivation in exercise as a runner I run with Nike + and my Ipod!It is always rewarding when Lance Armstrong come on at the end of a run and tells me I have set a new personal BEST for my run!

  16. CEH

    I found this radio show very informative it also made me realize I need to get out and exercise. More than what I do while working @ UPS. You also named a book about cancer written by a Dr. I didn’t get either name, can you e-mail me this info.

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