FAQ Health Wellness

Embracing Physical Activity for DLBCL Management: Expert Insights from Dr. Joshua Brody

Read how physical activity can play a crucial role in enhancing overall well-being

Embracing Physical Activity for DLBCL Management

Expert Insights from Dr. Joshua Brody

When it comes to managing DLBCL (Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma), physical activity can play a crucial role in enhancing overall well-being. In this article, we delve into the valuable benefits of exercise for DLBCL patients and provide practical tips to help integrate physical activity into your daily life. 

Dr. Josh Brody

Drawing upon the expertise of Dr. Joshua Brody, the Director of the Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, we gained insightful perspectives on addressing patient concerns, emphasizing a healthy lifestyle, and debunking common misconceptions.

Dr. Brody’s extensive experience and groundbreaking research in lymphoma treatment offer guidance for patients seeking optimal outcomes and improved quality of life.

According to Dr. Brody, it is natural for patients to have questions and concerns driven by fear upon receiving a diagnosis. He empathizes, stating, “How did I get this? What did I do? As though someone wants to blame themselves for this. I guess it’s natural.”

Offering reassurance, Dr. Brody explains, “There’s nothing you did. You got this for the same reason that people get hit by lightning. Nothing that they did. You got this, primarily for most patients, because of one cause and one cause only: bad luck. That’s why you got this.”

Patients often inquire about diet and supplements’ impact on the condition. Dr. Brody advises, “You should eat [healthily] and be healthy. Being healthy is not just about eating; it’s about physical activity and exercise.”

While numerous studies support the benefits of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for cancer and lymphoma patients, Dr. Brody clarifies that micromanaging specific details is unnecessary. He highlights, “We don’t micromanage and have a specific, ‘Oh, you need these blueberries, this green tea, this antioxidant.’ Healthy eating [and] healthy living is critical, but the details [are] probably not critical.”

Before starting any exercise routine, be sure to discuss physical activity with your healthcare team. Listen to your body when you need to rest or relax. Start small and keep it fun. 

Easy Exercise Ideas for DLBCL Patients

Exercise for DLBCL

To help DLBCL patients incorporate physical activity into their daily routines, we’ve outlined simple ways to add some exercise in. 

1. Take short walks: Begin with short walks around your neighborhood or nearby park, gradually increasing duration based on energy levels. Walking is a low-impact exercise that enhances cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

2. Stretching and flexibility exercises: Engage in gentle stretching exercises to improve flexibility and joint mobility. You can perform these exercises at home or with the guidance of a physical therapist. The American Cancer Society offers a helpful resource on stretching exercises.

3. Chair exercises: If mobility is limited, consider chair exercises that can be done while sitting. These exercises focus on strengthening muscles and increasing circulation. To perform the heel/toe raises exercise, have a chair with armrests and a pillow nearby. Start by placing both feet flat on the floor. Point your toes up towards your nose while keeping your heels down. Then, point your toes down towards the floor and try to lift your heels off the ground. Repeat these steps for about 30 seconds, if comfortable. For more, check out this Chair Exercise Guide by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  

4. Yoga or Tai Chi: Incorporate gentle forms of exercise like yoga or Tai Chi, which improve balance, and flexibility, and reduce stress. In a study involving 14 patients with malignant lymphoma, a home-based yoga program was found to be safe and feasible during chemotherapy treatment. The program also showed improvements in health-related quality of life, fatigue, sleep, depression, and anxiety. However, further validation through randomized studies is necessary.

5. Household chores and gardening: Engaging in light household chores and gardening not only provides physical activity but also a sense of accomplishment. Simple tasks like sweeping, vacuuming, or light gardening contribute to daily activity levels. If you’re heading outdoors, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society emphasizes sun safety, especially while in treatment. Plan ahead and seek shade when you can. 

>>>MORE: DLBCL: The Latest Treatment and Research

DLBCL Patient Stories

Lena V. feature profile

Lena V., Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Stage 1

Symptoms: Blood in urine
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy (R-CHOP), radiation
Cindy M. feature profile

Cindy M., Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Stage 4

Symptoms: Itchy skin on the palms and soles of feet; yellow skin and eyes
Treatment: Chemotherapy (R-CHOP)
Harriet C., Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (DLBCL) Cancer Diagnosis: Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)Symptoms: Weight loss, difficulty walking, stomach pain, feeling unwell Treatment: Chemotherapy, EPOCH, methotrexate
Sammie shares her non-hodgkin's lymphoma story
Sammie F., Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (DLBCL) Cancer Diagnosis: Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)Symptoms: Chest pain, back pain, bump on neck, night sweats Treatment: Chemotherapy, CAR T-Cell therapy
Alesia A., Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Cancer Diagnosis: Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)Symptoms: Fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, night sweats, anxiety Treatment: Chemotherapy
Tony W. feature profile

Tony W., Relapsed T-Cell/Histiocyte-Rich Large B-Cell Lymphoma (T/HRBCL)

1st Symptoms: A lot of effort needed cycling, body wasn’t responding the same; leg swelling
Treatment: R-CHOP chemotherapy, CAR T-cell therapy

Jonathan S., Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4

1st Symptoms: Severe shoulder pain
Treatment: 6 rounds of R-CHOP chemotherapy, 10 rounds of methotrexate, 12 rounds of focal radiation, autologous stem cell transplant

Leanne T., Follicular Lymphoma Transformed to DLBCL, Stage 3B

1st Symptoms: Fatigue, persistent cough
Treatment: R-CHOP chemotherapy, 6 rounds
Paige C.

Paige C., Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Stage 4

Symptoms: Weight loss, extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Treatment: R-EPOCH chemotherapy
Stephanie Chuang

Stephanie Chuang

Stephanie Chuang, founder of The Patient Story, celebrates five years of being cancer-free. She shares a very personal video diary with the top lessons she learned since the Non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis.
Kris W.

Kris W., Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Stage 4

1st Symptoms: Pain in the side of the abdomen
Treatment: R-CHOP chemotherapy
Robyn S. profile

Robyn S., Relapsed Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Stage 2E

Symptoms: Enlarged lymph nodes
Treatments: Chemotherapy: R-CHOP, R-ICE, intrathecal, BEAM; autologous stem cell transplant, head and neck radiation, CAR T-cell therapy

Barbara R., Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4

1st Symptoms: Abdomen and gastric pain

Treatment: Chemotherapy R-CHOP, CAR T-cell therapy, study drug CYT-0851

Luis V., Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4

1st Symptoms: Persistent cough, fatigue, unexplained weight loss

Treatment: Chemotherapy R-CHOP and methotrexate

Nina L., Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4

1st Symptoms: Hip and lower extremities pain, night sweats
Treatment: Chemotherapy R-CHOP

Richard P., Relapsed/Refractory Follicular Lymphoma & DLBCL

1st Symptoms of relapse: Swelling in leg, leg edema Treatment:1st line - R-CHOP chemotherapy, 2nd line - clinical trial of venetoclax-selinexor

Shahzad B., Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4

1st Symptoms: Extreme fatigue
Treatment: R&B, R-ICE, R-EPOCH, CAR T-cell therapy (cell-based gene therapy)
FDA approved: October 2017

Erin R., DLBCL & Burkitt Lymphoma, Stage 4

Cancer details: Characteristics of both subtypes
1st Symptoms: Lower abdominal pain, blood in stool, loss of appetite
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Part A: R-CHOP, HCVAD, Part B: Methotrexate, Rituxan, Cytarabine)

Emily G., Diffuse Large B-Cell (DLBCL), Stage 4

1st Symptoms: Pain in left knee
Treatment: R-CHOP chemo (6 cycles), high-dose methotrexate chemo (3 cycles)

One reply on “Embracing Physical Activity for DLBCL Management: Expert Insights from Dr. Joshua Brody”

I was just diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma . Started in my sternum moved to large mass in my left upper lung and to my left overy . I am doing the more intense one than r-chop . 4 days of 80 hours of chemo in patient . With epox treatment for infusion day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.