Walk that cancer away – study

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

LON­DON: Walking for just 30 min­utes a day can boost the chances of beat­ing cancer by al­most half, re­search shows.

Sep­a­rate stud­ies in­volv­ing breast and bowel cancer pa­tients found that reg­u­lar ex­er­cise had a huge im­pact on sur­vival.

The first was car­ried out by a team from Har­vard Univer­sity who fol­lowed 992 men with stage three bowel cancer which had spread to nearby tis­sue for seven years.

Stage three is the sec­ond most ad­vanced form of cancer, mean­ing it is large and fast-grow­ing. Pa­tients who did 30 min­utes’ mod­er­ate ex­er­cise five days a week and ate healthily were 42% less likely to die. They also lived longer if the cancer re­turned.

The sec­ond study, by Aus­tralian re­searchers, looked at 194 women who had re­cently un­der­gone surgery to re­move breast cancer.

Half were told to do 180 min­utes’ mod­er­ate ac­tiv­ity a week for at least eight months.

The other half con­tin­ued with their nor­mal lives, and both groups were ex­am­ined af­ter eight years.

The team from the Queens­land Univer­sity of Technology in Bris­bane found that women who had ex­er­cised were 55% more likely to still be alive.

The ma­jor­ity of pa­tients in both stud­ies did brisk walking as their main ac­tiv­ity, but heavy clean­ing, gen­tle cy­cling and mow­ing the lawn also counted.

Sci­en­tists be­lieve that even mod­er­ate ex­er­cise can slow tu­mour growth or pre­vent their re­turn­ing by re­duc­ing lev­els of hor­mones.

They in­clude in­sulin, which helps tu­mour cells mul­ti­ply, as well as oe­stro­gen in women, which en­cour­ages the de­vel­op­ment of breast cancer.

Ex­er­cise is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for bowel cancer as it re­duces in­flam­ma­tion, which can lead to cells mul­ti­ply­ing and form­ing tu­mours. It also pre­vents pa­tients from be­com­ing obese, as fat tis­sue pro­duces hor­mones that stim­u­late tu­mour growth.

Dr Erin van Blar­i­gan, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Fran­cisco, who led the study along­side Har­vard aca­demics, said: “Pa­tients should build up to ex­er­cis­ing for at least 150 min­utes per week. Doc­tors ab­so­lutely should coun­sel pa­tients to ex­er­cise.”

Dr Vicky Coyle, a Cancer Re­search UK sci­en­tist at Queen’s Univer­sity Belfast, said: “Pa­tients with ad­vanced bowel cancer could ben­e­fit from keep­ing a healthy weight, be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive and eat­ing a healthy diet, as this study sug­gests.”

Re­spond­ing to the study on breast cancer, Baroness De­lyth Mor­gan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the char­ity Breast Cancer Now, said: “Th­ese pre­lim­i­nary find­ings add to the in­creas­ing body of ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing that ex­er­cise could im­prove the chances of sur­vival.”

The Na­tional Health Service ad­vises pa­tients to do at least 150 min­utes of mod­er­ate ac­tiv­ity a week. – Daily Mail

Even mod­er­ate ex­er­cise can slow tu­mour growth

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