Breast cancer survivor using story to encourage others to stay active

Breast cancer survivor using story to encourage others to stay active
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas woman is using her breast cancer survival story as a way to encourage others to get and stay active.

Jamie Boyd said during her treatment exercising at least 30 minutes a day helped fight fatigue during her radiation and chemotherapy.

However, before her breast cancer diagnosis in 2014, she said her workouts were more high intensity.

"I did boot camps, I rode bicycles, I hiked. I didn't do much running but everything else," Boyd said.

Boyd said once she started chemo and radiation, she also joined Texas Oncology's Fitsteps Program.

"Basically just making yourself move. Making sure you get up and move 30 minutes at least a day, four or five days a week. And it helps keep your strength up and your will to keep going," Boyd said.

Medical Oncologist at Texas Oncology Sasha Strain said they have a treadmill and other exercise equipment in their waiting room.

They want their patients moving before and after their treatment.

"It activates something called natural killer cells which is a part of your immune system. And natural killers cells are important in fighting cancer," Strain said.

Strain said activating these natural killer cells helps the chemo to work more effectively. She said exercise outside the doctor's office lessens some of chemotherapy's side effects.

"People who continue to exercise even as it becomes a little bit harder throughout the chemo have less fatigue in the end," Strain said.

Boyd said being physically active before her diagnosis gave her an advantage during treatment.

"Me catching mine early and knowing my body and being able to exercise and keep going helped before, during and after," Boyd said.

Strain said everything you do now will make all the difference later.

Experts said movement is paramount, and those that are physically active have a lower risk of developing cancer and improved survival rates than those who are sedentary.

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