A New “Wonder Drug” for Cancer Patients: Exercise

Woman running on soft surfaceAccording to a recent report from CBS a British cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, has announced that the latest “wonder drug” for cancer isn’t a drug at all – but exercise. In a new “Move More” report compiled by the organization, findings suggested that getting active for the recommended period of 150 minutes per week could “reduce a breast cancer patient’s risk of recurrence or dying by 40% and a prostate cancer patient’s risk of dying by 30%.” Existing research also confirms the study’s findings that physical activity can reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 50%.

Exercise also played an important role in helping patients cope with the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. Symptoms like fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, and heart disease are much less pronounced in physically active patients.

Macmillan’s chief medical officer, oncologist Dr. Jane Maher, said in a written statement that health care professionals need to undergo a “cultural change” and make exercise an integral part of cancer care. The report found over half of general practitioners, oncologists, and nurses don’t tell their patients the benefits of physical exercise.

Instead of “taking it easy,” patients should be out doing something. “‘It doesn’t need to be anything too strenuous,” says one Macmillan official, “doing the gardening, going for a brisk walk or a swim all count.” The American Cancer Society also recommends maintaining an active lifestyle to reduce cancer risk.

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+ Read more articles on cancer care.

Source: CBS News, “Exercise called “wonder drug” for cancer patients:What can it do?”

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