Volume 3 Issue 3

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Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, echoed these sentiments: "Cancer patients would be shocked if they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health. " If You Have Cancer, Exercise is Helpful NOT Harmful One of the greatest gifts that exercise offers is increasing your chances of beating the cancer. Harvard Medical School researchers found patients who exercise moderately -- 3-5 hours a week -- reduce their odds of dying from breast cancer by about half as compared to sedentary women. In fact, any amount of weekly exercise increased a patient's odds of surviving breast cancer. This benefit also remained constant regardless of whether women were diagnosed early on or after their cancer had spread. Patients receiving the biggest boost from exercise were those most sensitive to estrogen, the most common form of breast cancer. (Previous research has shown exercise lowers estrogen levels, which can fuel the growth of breast cancer cells.) If you're male, be aware that athletes have lower levels of circulating testosterone than non-athletes, and similar to the association between estrogen levels and breast cancer in women, testosterone is known to influence the development of prostate cancer in men. A 2011 report argues that all patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do two and a half hours of physical exercise every week. It states that advice to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view. Research has shown that exercise can reduce the risk of dying from cancer and minimize the side effects of treatment. Exercise is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment. BBC News reports: "Getting active, the report says, can help people overcome the effects of cancer and its treatments, such as fatigue and weight gain ... Previous research shows that exercising to the recommended levels can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurring by 40 percent. For prostate cancer the risk of dying from the disease is reduced by up to 30 percent. Bowel cancer patients' risk of dying from the disease can be cut by around 50 percent by doing around six hours of moderate physical activity a week." As Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support and clinical oncologist, told BBC News: "The advice that I would have previously given to one of my patients would have been to 'take it easy'. This has now changed significantly because of the recognition that if physical exercise were a drug, it would be hitting the headlines." Exercise: The New Natural Wonder Drug for Cancer Page 44 | Abby's Magazine -

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