Tags: Cancer | cancer | survivor | exercise | prostate | colorectal

Cancer Survivors Should Walk 3 Hours a Week: Northwestern Study

By    |   Thursday, 16 April 2015 04:42 PM

Got cancer? Get moving.

New research shows three or more hours of walking per week can boost the vitality and health of prostate cancer survivors. Exercise can also alleviate such common post-treatment side effects as burning, numbness, tingling, and loss of reflexes in patients treated for colorectal cancer.

The findings, detailed in two studies published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, are the latest in a series of research initiatives to highlight the benefits of exercise for cancer survivors.

In the first study, led by Siobhan Phillips of Northwestern University, researchers weighed up the benefits of various types and intensities of exercise for prostate cancer survivors. Medical investigators surveyed nearly 2,000 men with the disease who are part of the long-running Health Professionals Follow-up Study, run by the Harvard School of Public Health.

Phillips' team found that three or more hours per week of walking helped to improve the hormone functioning and vitality of survivors. The benefits were even greater among those who walked more than 90 minutes a week at a normal or fast pace.

"Encouraging men to engage in non-vigorous activity and walking may be helpful for managing prostate cancer-related quality of life," says Phillips.

The second study, by Floortje Mols of Tilburg University, tracked 1,648 colorectal cancer survivors who had undergone chemotherapy, which can induce peripheral neuropathy caused by nerve damage that causes tingling or burning sensations in their hands and feet, itching, muscle weakness, or a loss of reflexes.

The Dutch study showed patients who engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week had fewer of these symptoms up to 11 years after being diagnosed with cancer. Those who were less active had more such symptoms, but also experienced a lower quality of life.

"Regular physical activity plays an important role in colorectal cancer prevention, recurrence and mortality," said Mols. "Surviving a lifestyle-related illness perhaps makes patients more aware of the importance of physical activity."

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New research shows three or more hours of walking per week can boost the vitality and health of prostate cancer survivors and ease post-treatment symptoms in those with colorectal cancer.
cancer, survivor, exercise, prostate, colorectal
Thursday, 16 April 2015 04:42 PM
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