It can be difficult to be active when you have pancreatic cancer. If you are eating or drinking less, or doing less physical activity, you may lose some muscle and strength. This can affect how you deal with symptoms and side effects of the cancer and treatment, and how you feel generally. Gentle physical activity can help improve your strength and fitness and help you to deal with symptoms such as fatigue (extreme tiredness) or losing your appetite.
It is important to exercise within your own limits. Find something you enjoy doing. It could be gardening or going for a short walk. Take it easy and only do what you are able to do. You may find that some days are better than others. You might find it’s easier to exercise with a friend or relative – but make sure that you are still in control of how much you do.
Speak to your doctor or nurse before starting any kind of exercise plan. They can advise you on what type of activities are best for you, and any safety issues to be aware of. If you have diabetes, be aware that exercising can affect your blood sugar levels and how you manage your diabetes.
Your doctor or nurse may refer you to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist for more specialist advice. Physiotherapists help people cope with illness and manage symptoms through movement and exercise. Occupational therapists provide equipment and help with everyday activities, such as dressing or going to the shops, if you are struggling with these.
Some cancer support services, such as Maggie’s Centres, run exercise courses for people with cancer, for example, yoga, tai chi or walking groups. Ask your GP about any services available in your area.