How do lifestyle factors and exposure to environmental substances affect our cancer risk?
SUNDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Even though research has shown that exercise offers significant benefits in cancer care and recovery, many patients are reluctant to exercise and few discuss it with their oncologists, according to a new study.
Exercise can improve cancer patients' mobility, which enables them to enjoy activities and prevents them from becoming isolated in their homes. It can contribute to overall feelings of strength and physical safety, ease cancer-related fatigue and improve sleep, notes a Mayo Clinic news release.
And, regular exercise in patients who have gone through breast or colon cancer treatment has been found to reduce cancer recurrence by up to 50 percent, the release noted.
"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," study lead author Dr. Andrea Cheville, of the Mayo Clinic's department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, said in the news release.
She and her colleagues found that patients who exercised regularly before their cancer diagnosis were more likely to exercise after treatment. They also found that many patients considered daily activities, such as gardening, to be sufficient exercise and didn't realize that these activities tend to require minimal effort.
"Most were not aware that inactivity can contribute to weakening of the body and greater vulnerability to problems, including symptoms of cancer," Cheville said.
Cancer patients took exercise advice most seriously when it came directly from an oncologist, but none of the patients in the study said their oncologist had discussed exercise with them.
"Generally, patients are not being given concrete advice about exercise to help them maintain functionality and to improve their outcomes," Cheville said in the news release.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.
The American Cancer Society offers healthy living guidelines for cancer survivors.
SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, Aug. 28, 2012
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Thu Sep 06, 2012 05:09 AM
I have advanced stage four cancer and yet I am in remission once again. After third battle, you'd think someone somewhere would be interested in how I managed to win three battles and hopefully the war!
No one has shown interest. Believe me I have fought with every breathe. I have been fired by two doctors who did not think I deserved further treatment and successfully battled a nursing staff sure that I was lying about not needing so much medication.
Yes, I am strong-willed but it is more than that. So many more could live as long as I have if they knew what I am not trying to keep secret. Exercise is just so huge! Not just for the issues you list but, also, for fighing cancer. It is not just a superficial bonus as suggested: excercise helps to keep not only the body strong but creates a mindset that says maybe you're just not so sick that youn cannot recover.
Compliance gets a cancer patient dead quickly. Patients must fight with your mind, your body and (unfortunately but frequently) with you doctor.
Don't think that assigning the stupid title of chronic is at all a good thing for those of us who want rigorous treatment in the expectation of going into remission versus being treated for comfort and acceptance of emminent demise.
Call me crazy but I want to beat this thing! I demand more than just hand-holding and pain relief until I finally give in and accept the inevitable--death!
Study? Who's studying me? No one seems to care.
Fri Sep 07, 2012 01:02 AM
Wow! You are just what I need to get reved up to fight this battle! I am going to print your comment and hang it up where I can read it every morning-on the bathroom mirror. I have just completed chemo for stage 2B breast cancer and am about to begin radiation. I felt awful 8-9 days after each chemo, would receive treatment every three weeks so basically relaxed and enjoyed my feeling good days without doing any exercuse at all. Never made time for it!!!!! I am retired!!!! After reading the info about the impact exercise has on survival and becoming familiar with your spirit and attitude, I am ready! I have never been into running, but will walk, walk, walk and build up my endurance even though the radiation will be exhausting. Ready,Set, Go! Thank you!
Sat Sep 08, 2012 02:30 AM
I have had 2 different types of cancer....breast and thyroid. I believe that exercise made a huge difference in my quick recoveries. My plan is to exercise for the rest of my life. The more the merrier. I encourage everyone to exercise especially if you are dealing with severe health problems. My doctor was amazed that I was running the day after I was discharged from my breast surgery. As the NIKE commercial says " Just Do it "
We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.