If a pill could be made that could do the same for cancer as exercise it would be called a miracle drug.
EXERCISE CAN HELP PREVENT CANCER
We all know that not smoking is important in the prevention of cancer. Exercise also plays an important role in preventing cancer. Research shows that regular exercise prevents some cancers, and can also reduce the occurrence of cancer by 30-70%. This effect is strongest for colorectal and breast cancer.
EXERCISE CAN HELP CANCER SURVIVORS
If you have survived Cancer, you face unique challenges related to the risk of cancer recurring and developing other chronic disease like osteoporosis (thinning bones). Exercise improves survival rates, at least in breast and colon cancer, and can reduce your risk of death from Cancer by half if you are a cancer survivor.
EXERCISE CAN HELP TREAT CANCER
Exciting new research is looking at exercise as treatment for Cancer. As seen on TV on Catalyst episode 14, the study follows patients who exercise immediately before or after chemotherapy. This has shown to improve chemotherapy uptake into the cancer, as well as increasing the natural killer cell activity, which helps to destroy the cancer cells and reduces tumour growth by 60-70%.
In addition to increased survival rates and improving chemotherapy results, there are other established benefits of exercising during and after cancer treatment. These include preserved or improved muscle strength, mass and power, physical functioning, range of motion, body image, mood, self-esteem and general health. Also seen are reductions in duration of hospitalisation, psychological and emotional stress, depression and anxiety, and side effects, such as pain, fatigue and nausea.
There are so many different ways to bring movement into our lives, even for the most time-poor or physically challenged among us. If you need help determining the best way to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle with the correct frequency, intensity, duration and type of exercise needed for your goals, our exercise physiologist Linda Walker, can assist.
“Exercise is Natural Medicine”
- Australian institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2010). Cancer in Australia 2010: An overview. Cancer series no. 50. Cat. No. CAN 56. Canberra: AIHW
- Hayes, Sandra et al. Australian Association for Exercise and Sport Science position stand: Optimising cancer outcomes through exercise. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Vol 12 (4), 428-434.
- Catalyst documentary Episode 14 Exercise and Cancer: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/vodcast/