Exercise Tied to Improved Colorectal Cancer Outcomes

A lot of data is emerging on the relationship between exercise and cancer care. Just in the last few months, some very interesting studies have been published on the relationship between exercise, physical activity, body mass index, and colorectal cancer.

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in January, investigators identified 2300 people with invasive, nonmetastatic colorectal cancer. They then measured how much exercise they got before and after their diagnosis. The data revealed that people who were more physically active both before and after their diagnosis of colon cancer had much better outcomes.

These patients needed only 150 minutes a week of physical activity — basically, walking — to reap these health benefits. If you engage in that much physical activity before and after a colon cancer diagnosis the risk reduction in all-cause mortality  is 0.58. That is more effective than any chemotherapy on the market today. You don’t have to be a runner to get the benefits – starting a walking routine after your diagnosis (without pre-diagnosis activity also showed a significant improvement in outcome.

Exercise should be an important part of every discussion that you have with your colorectal cancer specialist. The magnitude of benefit of the physical activity may be, in fact, greater than the magnitude of chemotherapy.

+ Learn why the Bon Secours Colorectal Cancer Center is the leading colorectal cancer treatment center in Hampton Roads.

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