Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Exercise Treats Cancer & Helps Prevent Recurrence

Cancer sufferers are less likely to exercise after their diagnosis, which is of course understandable, due to the severe physical effects of the disease, which can be devastating.

However recent research in Australia has indicated regular exercise for cancer sufferers is highly beneficial in the following ways:
§  increases the chances of a remission of symptoms and cancer activity
§  supports the body’s immune system which helps fight cancer and
§  improves the general quality of life of someone who has had cancer.

Resistance exercise, dynamic and aerobic training prior to and during cancer treatment, has been shown to:
§  aid cancer recovery by helping to maintain muscle mass and body strength
§  thereby maintaining higher functional levels during and after the cancer episode.

A Canadian study of bowel cancer sufferers found that:

§  81% of the prehabilitated group, who did regular exercise before treatment, recovered their basic walking ability within 12 weeks and were able to walk further distances post-operatively.
§  Only 40% of the control group, who did not participate in the prehabilitation, achieved the goal of walking ability by 12 weeks. Distance walked was less.

Prostrate cancer treatment depletes testosterone supply which reduces bone density and increases risk of osteoporosis. This increases the risk of bone fractures whether occurring spontaneously or as a result of a minor impact or fall.

Research in Perth indicated dynamic training, including jumping exercises, will reduce loss of bone density and risk of developing brittle bones.

Some participants experienced increase in bone density as a result of the exercise programme.


Regular exercise increases oxygen-rich blood flow through the body, reducing the hypoxic state around tumours, where cancer cells exist in a minimal oxygen microcosm.

Cancers are more aggressive and resistant to treatment where oxygen is lacking. Exercise improves the effectiveness of cancer treatments which rely on oxygen-rich blood vessels travelling to cancer cells.

Lack of physical exercise is the 2nd Highest Contributor to Cancer  incidence in Australia.
First cause is tobacco smoking. 

A 2010 study indicated that a significant number of bowel, breast and endometrial cancer cases are associated with lack of regular exercise.  Regular exercise reduces insulin production. Excess Insulin is associated with obesity and cancer.
30 minutes of rigorous exercise or one hour of moderate exercise daily is recommended to increase the ability to prevent Cancer.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES : Adults aged 18-64 years
Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you do no exercise, start slowly and build up gradually to the recommended amount.
Be active on most days, preferably every day.


§  You need to accumulate 2 ½ - 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week or 1 ¼  to 2 ½ hours of vigorous intensity physical activity every week.

§  Do muscle strengthening exercise on at least 2 days every week, e.g. weight training, resistance training, weight bearing poses in yoga.

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