Tags: breast | colon | cancer | life | longevity | exercise

Exercise Prolongs Cancer Survivors' Lives

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:24 PM

Physical activity cuts the risk of death in breast and colon cancer patients, according to a new analysis of studies conducted over the past 60 years.
But federal scientists, who reported their findings in in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, noted past studies have not provided conclusive evidence to show exercise can improve longevity in people with other types of cancer.
NCI investigators who conducted the new analysis noted advances in cancer diagnosis and care have allowed survivors to live longer and benefit from lifestyle changes that can improve their quality of life, such as exercise.
For the analysis, Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash and colleagues reviewed 45 studies that examined the relationship between physical activity and mortality among cancer survivors that have been published since 1950.
The strongest link between longevity and exercise was found for breast cancer patients, with most studies showing a statistically significant reduction in mortality among physically active survivors. The next strongest evidence was for colorectal cancer survivors.
Although the analysis could not provide specific recommendations on the type and timing of physical activity, researchers said the studies provide ample evidence of the significant physical and mental benefits of exercise for cancer survivors.
In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Edward L. Giovannucci, of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, said the findings make clear that exercise improves both the quantity and quality of cancer survivor’s lives.
"Even though direct effects of physical activity on cancer are not definitely proven,” he said, “given that physical activity is generally safe, improves quality of life for cancer patients, and has numerous other health benefits, adequate physical activity should be a standard part of cancer care."

© HealthDay

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Working out boosts longevity for breast and colon cancer patients, but the jury's still out for other types of cancer.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:24 PM
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