Exercise is a powerful anti-cancer medicine that helps patients and healthy people during and after therapies. The numbers prove it, but most patients inactive and spend more than six hours a day in an armchair
The numbers leave no doubt, but most people struggle to assimilate the lesson: the more time you sit, the higher the risk of getting cancer and, for those who have already had a diagnosis, to have a relapse and die from it. By now, many scientific studies, conducted on millions of people, have shown how regularly practicing sports helps prevent and treat over 40 diseases among the most widespread in the world, including various types of cancer. And to heal faster and significantly reduce the risk of relapse, even in the case of serious diseases such as tumors. Confirmation comes from one new American research, just published in the journal JAMA Oncology
, which was conducted on 1,500 cancer patients precisely with the aim of investigating the link between cancer mortality and the daily time spent exercising or sitting.
1,535 people were enrolled for the survey, with an average age of 65, treated for different types of cancer and followed for an average of four and a half years. As many as 57% of those interviewed declared that they were completely inactive, plus about 15% who admitted to exercising insufficiently by the experts (less than 15 minutes a week) and only 28% were active. Furthermore, as many as a third of the participants reported spend between 6 and 8 hours a day sitting and a quarter over 8 hours. Finally, by crossing the answers between physical activity and time in the chair, it emerges that almost 36% of people do not practice any sport and moreover spend more than 6 hours in a chair every day. The conclusions indicate that the excessive, almost complete, sedentary nature not only widespread among cancer patients, but this too exposes them to a greater risk of death. For a recurrence of the tumor, for complications or other diseases independent of cancer.
Three practical, simple and effective tips
They get sick with cancer every year 370 thousand people in Italy. Today over 3.6 million (5.7% of the entire population) citizens are alive after being diagnosed with cancer, an increase of 37% compared to 10 years ago. There rehabilitation, both physical and psychological, essential for regaining a good quality of life and the right amount of movement (based on the possibilities of the individual person and their health conditions) also contributes to mitigate the side effects of therapies. According to experts, three small steps are often enough to keep fit and actually do something useful: take the time to walking outdoors, at a good pace, at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days; get organized with easy home gym exercises through the numerous courses available on the web; if possible always take the stairs, at home or in the office, avoiding taking the elevator. The American Cancer Society recently updated its cancer prevention guidelines, doubling the time spent on the movement: it urges adults to practice between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or between 75 and 150 minutes of intense physical activity per week. Previous guidelines recommended up to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or up to 75 minutes of strenuous physical activity per week.
For which cancers the danger decreases
A review of nine studies conducted on more than 755,000 people by researchers at the US National Cancer Institute showed that exercise, in the doses recommended by the WHO, associated with a statistically significant lower risk of developing 7 of the 15 cancers studied, with a reduction that increases with increasing physical activity. Not only is the likelihood of getting sick less among people who practice regular exercise at the right doses, but it also contributes to better tolerance of therapies and reduce by 30% the risk of relapse in those who are already ill. Sports practice can also have a positive effect on the side effects of anti-tumor therapies (such as fatigue or chronic fatigue), anxiety and pain perception. Furthermore it can improve mood, increase energy and promote social inclusion thus fighting loneliness and depression, often widespread in those who are facing cancer.
January 16, 2022 (change January 16, 2022 | 11:40 am)
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