For three years, Patrick has never let a day go by without walking in nature. The rain will never make him give up. He initiated this rite when he was diagnosed with a disease with a bleak prognosis, metastasized pancreatic cancer. Very quickly, he began chemotherapy and against all odds, his oncologist encouraged him to walk even more.
Walking, an ally throughout treatment
“We are in a body that is suffering because of chemotherapy, even if it is tolerable, while walking, we realize that the body can still bring you pleasure. At the moment, it is autumn, it there are magnificent colors, but each season has its virtues”explains Patrick Gouigoux.
At all stages of her treatment, walking has been her best ally. “After the operation, part of my pancreas was removed, I continued to walk, even though I was very weak. I would go to a public park near my house and sit on a bench I walked 20 meters, I sat down on a bench, that was the first few days. A few days later, I walked 50 more meters… I felt like I was part of my fight against cancer. “says Patrick Gouigoux.
Walk for morale and for science
Patrick not only walked for his morale, he walked for science, by agreeing to participate in a study on the benefits of adapted physical activity (APA) in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Patrick finished his treatments a year ago, he comes today to have the results of his last scan. If Patrick got out of it, it is above all thanks to heavy treatments, but for Professor Hammel, there is no doubt that walking also has something to do with it. “The study we did showed that physical activity had a real effect on the health of patients with pancreatic cancer. Not only was there an improvement in the quality of life, but also an improvement in the control of the tumour. Of course, we cannot say that all those who do APA will cure their cancer, but it is something that has become essential”comments Professor Pascal Hammel.
Towards a change in practices
This study constitutes a new approach in the management of this dreaded cancer. “When I was a young student, it was said that patients who had cancer should rest. Well no. Obviously, you have to go within the range of your possibilities, you must not overdo it, exhaust yourself, hurt, but it’s going to be a change in practices. Physical activity is going to be something central in their care.”says Professor Pascal Hammel.
The next step is to generalize physical activity to all patients with pancreatic cancer, provided they are supervised by a teacher in adapted physical activity.
Patrick, meanwhile, will have another scan in six months. And in the meantime, in addition to walking, he decided to learn tai chi.
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