Freerk Baumann in conversation with Thorsten Jabs

Exercise can also help cancer patients improve their well-being. (IMAGO / fStop Images / Malte Müller)

Exercise can not only prevent cancer, but it is also important for patients to improve their quality of life and their recovery. Doctor Freerk Baumann regrets, however, that there are too few specialists and insufficient funding for health insurance companies.

Diagnosis: cancer – what now? In addition to therapy, exercise is also important, explains Freerk Baumann, head of the oncology exercise medicine group at Cologne University Hospital. Because exercise can prevent or lessen side effects, such as fatigue syndrome associated with chemotherapy.

Exercise can also increase stamina and strength, has a healing effect on lymphedema, water buildup on the arm after breast cancer surgery, has an impact on bone health and may also be used to treat anxiety and depression. This increases the health-related quality of life, says Baumann.

Patients often don’t move enough

“What patients can do on their own is avoid lack of exercise. This means they have to move as best they can, just like they did – if possible – before they were diagnosed. cancer. Most patients do not, however. sedentary situation. ” It has negative effects.

Therefore, there are physiotherapists who also create an individual program for the patient to prevent or reduce side effects. However, there are still too few skilled workers with the appropriate training.

Although the effectiveness of exercise therapy has been proven in numerous studies, this form of therapy is not yet part of basic health insurance coverage. “It’s extremely questionable,” says Baumann.