Beyond Cancer Podcast – Episode #4: Exercise and Cancer

If you’re 69 and diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, what do you do? For John Barrett, the answer was easy: become a certified physical trainer.

But as Barrett and Nancy Campbell, exercise physiologist at Dana-Farber, both point out, you don’t need to be an exercise zealot to incorporate exercise into your life.

John Barrett (right) with Dana-Farber exercise physiologist Nancy Campbell,
John Barrett (right) with Dana-Farber exercise physiologist Nancy Campbell,

“Exercise needs to be a lifestyle, not an event,” Barrett says. For cancer patients in particular, it’s about working exercise into the fabric of your everyday life. That’s not always easy. A cancer diagnosis can be challenging for lifelong exercisers who need to recalibrate their expectations and goals; and it can be hard for patients who have never exercised to get started while fighting fatigue and other symptoms.

 Hear John’s inspiring story and his and Nancy’s exercise tips and wisdom by listening to the podcast episode below, or click “download” to listen later. Subscribe options are also available via iTunes, Google Play, the Stitcher app, TuneIn app, and RSS.


The Beyond Cancer podcast series features cancer survivors sharing how they’ve navigated the physical side effects, emotional challenges, and different dynamics of life during and after cancer treatment. Visit the Beyond Cancer page for more episodes and Dana-Farber’s podcast page for more information on other cancer podcast series.