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Thursday, 30 August 2012 21:57

Exercise can help cancer patients beat the disease and prevent relapsing

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Regular exercise can cut the risk of cancer patients relapsing by 50 per cent- study. 
Cancer patients can cut the risk of recurrence by half if they exercise, a number of studies have found. Despite the results the study also showed that many patients are reluctant to make efforts to keep fit and consider their daily activities sufficient exercise.

The study is part of a series of investigations looking at exercise habits among cancer patients conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

‘As doctors, we often tell patients that exercise is important, but to this point, nobody had studied what patients know about exercise, how they feel about it and what tends to get in the way,’ says lead author Dr Andrea Cheville.

For patients who have gone through breast or colon cancer treatment, regular exercise has been found to reduce recurrence of the disease by up to 50 per cent.

The study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, found that patients who exercised regularly before their diagnosis were more likely to keep up their routines afterwards.

Dr Cheville said a lot of patients were not aware that an inactive lifestyle could contribute to greater vulnerability to cancer symptoms, hindering recovery.

Many of those who took part in the study considered their thought their everyday activities, such as gardening could class as exercise without realising that they required minimal effort.

She said: ‘There was a real sense of ‘What I do every day, that’s my exercise.’

In addition, researchers found patients took exercise advice most seriously when it came directly from their oncologists, but none of those doctor’s studied had discussed it with them.

‘Generally, patients are not being given concrete advice about exercise to help them maintain functionality and to improve their outcomes,’ Dr. Cheville said.

As well as improve mobility and strength, exercise keep cancer them from becoming isolated in their homes, help build a positive environment and ease cancer-related fatigue.

The researchers plan to investigate how to make the message about exercise meaningful to patients to optimise symptom relief and enhance recovery.

This research comes days after a study showing that overweight women have worse outcomes from breast cancer than those of normal weight and run a higher risk of relapse.

Their results suggest that extra body fat causes hormonal changes and inflammation that may drive some cases to spread and recur, despite treatment.


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Read 1427 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 August 2012 22:06

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