Monday, December 23, 2013

Fighting Obesity, Preventing Cancer

“Obesity is an epidemic in the United States, and a particular hazard for cancer survivors,” said Austin oncologist Debra Patt, MD. “Lack of physical activity and obesity pose a threat among breast cancer survivors for recurrence.”

Dr. Patt cares for patients at Texas Oncology, which works with Livestrong and the YMCA to offer three free months of exercise classes to breast cancer patients who have completed their treatments. The free membership builds camaraderie among survivors and promotes a healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer from returning, reports KVUE news.  

Dr. Patt stresses the importance of exercise for all Texans and the role physicians play in encouraging healthy living. “All of our patients, cancer survivors or not, should be counseled on increasing their physical activity and eating a healthy diet. Part of our job as their doctors is to promote healthy behaviors and help our patients to embrace their wellness.

“By focusing on prevention of disease before it occurs, we can help our patients lead healthier lives, free of chronic disease. Effects of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease can be diminished or detoured with regular exercise and good nutrition. While we can't make choices for our patients, it helps to make them aware of resources they have available at their disposal. It can made a real difference.”

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