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Doctors Prescibing Exercise

Posted 12/28/2016

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  I know that I too often post about the importance of exercise. In all honesty, this is probably partly for my own benefit, to reinforce my need to pull myself out of a warm bed before 6 AM to get to the gym before work. It is much easier this week when there is minimal traffic, but I try to keep to the schedule even in non-holiday times. Today's article from ASCO Experts is a new twist, suggesting that perhaps doctors should prescribe exercise to both prevent some illnesses and even reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

  You will see that there is a general introduction and then a specific list of the possible value of exercise for a range of cancers:

Should Cancer Doctors Prescribe Exercise?

“Although the data vary by different cancer types, there is a consistent trend suggesting that moderate
daily exercise has a beneficial effect on preventing certain cancers. Given this there is little reason for a
healthy adult to not incorporate regular exercise into their daily routine."
Dr. Charles Ryan, MD, ASCO Expert
Most of us have been barraged with messages about the importance of exercise for overall health. We all
know that regular aerobic activity helps maintain a healthy weight, improves mood and wards off diabetes
and cardiovascular diseases.
But what about cancer? Is there are role for exercise in preventing this life-threatening illness? Can and
should people with cancer exercise through their treatment and beyond, into survivorship? A growing
body of research suggests the answer is yes to all of the above.
The role of exercise and physical activity in cancer prevention has been studied extensively, particularly
for breast and colon cancers. Dozens of epidemiologic and clinical studies have shown that people who
have a physically active lifestyle may be less likely to develop some of the most common and deadly
cancers than those who are sedentary.

Breast Cancer
While the amount of risk reduction varies among studies (20-80%), most suggest that 30 to 60 minutes of
moderate to high-intensity exercise per day lowers breast cancer risk. Women who are physically active
throughout their life appear to benefit the most, but those who increase physical activity after menopause
also fare better than inactive women.

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