Cancer hospital getting chemo patients on bikes to see if it affects treatment outcomes

“ABC” article about the benefits of Cycling while receiving Chemo infusions

My thoughts / 2 cents worth after reading the article.

The phrase ‘Tour de Chemo’ came to mind as I read the attached article regarding the concept of Cycling while receiving Chemotherapy infusions. It actually seemed like a great idea and made for good sense in its logic.

Chemo for me was a hideous experience that nearly ended me in itself.

I love the direction of this article, and it makes god sense, but I don’t agree with a one size fits all approach as in my experience there is a great range of  chemo applications in both frequency and potency which would influence expecrttations.

My chemo and exercise experience . . . 

I am a passionate road cyclist who also loves running, so exercising in the face of Chemotherapy was not a problem or so I thought. I decided to approach the whole chemo thing with exercise as a way of staying in control, so I set out a routine to do a 3 km run twice a week and some gentle flat cycling either on my spin bike or road bike over the weekends.

My chemo days started at 5:30 am with a commute to the Royal Brisbane and Womens hospital, starting with “Bloods at 7:30 -8:00 am. Then it is on to waiting rooms, consultations and Gem/Cis  infusions and finally home by 6pm – this was my routine every Tuesday for 6 months. As the weeks unfolded I would arrive home absolutely wasted and exercise just wasn’t an option.

My plan to run 3kms each Wednesday Lasted 2 weeks . . .the weight of the chemo infusions was to much and regardless of my willingness, I was defeated physically. The attached article could become counter productive for those like myself – had I read this at the time, I may have felt a bigger failure for not being able to exercise. 

Would love to hear other views on this subject

All the best Steve

The following article by

Cancer hospital getting chemo patients on bikes to see if it affects treatment outcomes

PHOTO: A research looks into whether combining chemotherapy with exercise improves the effectiveness of the treatment. (ABC News: Maisie Cohen)

Exercising during chemotherapy may improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients, according to a recent pilot study at a dedicated cancer hospital in Sydney.

Cancer patients in the pilot study were given their chemotherapy drugs while riding exercise bikes.

The team hopes that long-term, exercising during the actual infusion process will show benefit to patients by increasing the blood flow to tumours.

“Tumours have bad blood supply and sometimes it’s hard to get chemo to get to where it needs to go,” said exercise physiologist Michael Marthick, who ran the trial.

“It’s too early to say [if that will happen], but what we can say is that it’s safe, people seem to enjoy it and it acts as a distraction throughout treatment.”

Mr Marthick said the study also considered whether exercising during treatment changed behaviour.

“We are seeing more and more benefits now of exercise for people in terms of their fatigue, their strength, endurance and also their ability to tolerate treatment,” he said.

Mr Marthick said no adverse effects were experienced by participants and another trial has been approved.

‘I feel really well, I feel in control’
Susan McCarthy is one patient who has benefited from exercising during cancer treatment.

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