No link has been established between exercise and sarcoma. Nevertheless, exercise can help:
- Reduce stress and depression.
- Reduce fatigue and increase energy.
- Reduce nausea and improve appetite.
- Relieve constipation.
- Reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis, which can affect both men and women, and young and old, if they get chemo, radiation or hormone treatment.
- Improve balance and reduce the risk of falling.
- Improve breathing.
- Reduce weight (if needed). There is no evidence that weight puts anyone at risk of getting sarcoma. But obese people tend to have more complications after surgery, for example, and obesity has risks for other illnesses, such as heart disease.
During or after treatment you may benefit from physical therapy, rehabilitation and/or occupational therapy. Therapists will help determine your needs. You may need to regain strength, mobility and endurance; learn to use a prosthetic or assistive device; and/or focus on skills of everyday living.
Ask your health-care team before starting or resuming other exercise and physical activities. Then go slow. As you recover, think of exercise and other physical activities that work your heart and lungs, and strengthen bones as well as muscles.
Cancer centers may offer exercise. For example, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has classes in pilates, yoga, qigong and tai chi. Patients at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa can learn about nutrition and exercise in its RENEW program. Some health insurance may have programs, such as Silver Sneakers. Some YMCAs have Livestrong programs.