Gyms and fitness centers have begun stepping in to meet a small but growing demand for programs designed to not only hasten recovery but to address the fatigue of chemotherapy, the swelling of lymphedema and the loss of muscle tone.
There have always been athletically inclined patients who stayed active, even competitive, in the wake of a diagnosis. A recent high-profile example is Eric Shanteau, an American Olympic swimmer who decided to put off testicular-cancer surgery until he had competed in Beijing.
But most of the roughly 10 million cancer survivors in the United States are not amateur Lance Armstrongs. Many, though, are inspired by celebrities like Mr. Armstrong, seeing them as models for how to come out on the other side of often-debilitating treatment regimens.