Is regular exercise recommended for patients with cancer and for those who also had conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy? How much is the recommended amount of exercise?
Everyone has some sort of idea that physical exercise does improve the overall well-being of both healthy and unfit individuals. Previously, there were a number of studies showing the correlation of exercise to overall good health. But, not so much on the cancer survival part. Well, this blog post discusses existing studies that found out that correlation.
The Main Argument for Constant Exercise – the Statistics
It has been reported that about 20 scientific-evidence studies have indicated that physical activity on post-diagnosis cancer retards cancer recurrence and cancer survival. These studies have primarily covered breast, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancer survivors. Based on these studies, the main argument has been established: the level and intensity of post-diagnosis activity are inversely proportional to the recurrence and survival of cancer.
Breast Cancer and Exercise
Studies indicate that moderate exercise conducted by women with breast cancer has significantly lowered the risk of cancer and or all-disease mortality. One study of 933 women with breast cancer found that brisk walking or any moderate intensity exercise after cancer diagnosis actually reduced mortality risk of these women by 64% compared to inactive women.
The same kind of amazing results has been generated with studies of exercise and colorectal cancer. Patients who engaged in physical activity after cancer diagnosis had improvements in their disease by up to 50%.
Why the significant improvements in health after exercise?
Experts say that with moderate exercise, breast cancer patients had decreased body fat, insulin resistance, inflammation and sex hormone levels, which means exercise improved cancer survival. On the other hand, women who are obese, overweight or have high fasting insulin levels at the time of diagnosis or who gained weight after diagnosis did poorly in their exercise outcomes.
What’s the safest amount of exercise recommended by the experts?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended for the general population an exercise intensity of 2.5 hours per week to the general population – a recommendation that experts up to now follow, and was proven to generate a cancer mortality reduction of 67% compared to women who were inactive.
Despite the studies and results indicated above, the studies still indicated that few than 10% of cancer survivors exercise or are physically active during their first treatments and only 20%-30% become active after treatment.
We at the Dr. Farrah Agustin-Bunch Natural Medical Center recommend to our patients to as much as possible, exercise. Exercise does regulate a patient’s metabolic rate, induce feelings of overall health and wellness, good for the heart. And, it can keep the immune system in tip-top shape.
We also recommend a support group to give emotional and moral support to cancer victims. Also, help motivate them to exercise. In fact, support groups not only apply for cancer patients but any patient with debilitating chronic disease.
How about you — do you have any ideas about exercise and cancer recovery and survival? Tell us in the comments below!