The Important Role of Physical Activity in Cancer Treatment
The role of physical activity in cancer treatment is greatly important. Did you know that regular physical activity not only helps you remain healthy and fit, but also aids in cancer treatment?
Let us explore the important role of physical activity in cancer treatment. Anything that gets you moving around is counted as physical activity. With adverse side effects and damaged tissue and cells in our body due to the cancerous growth, cancer treatment can be risky.
Cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy when done for a long time, may have side effects. Regular moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity can quicken the action of caner treatment, while also making it effective.
Physical activity in cancer and otherwise, is essential for the well being of a person. They help to boost your health. However, the benefits of physical activity in fighting against cancer is profound and invaluable.
Below are a few ways in which physical activity in cancer treatment can be effective:
- Physical activities are a natural mood lifter. They can improve the effects of cancer treatments and diagnosis on your mental health.
- Physical activities keep you physically able and fit during your treatment, which tends to reduce physical functionalities, in general.
- Certain types of cancer increase the risk of major diseases like osteoporosis and heart problems. Regular physical activity can help prevent them.
- Regular physical activity has proven to increase the recovery rates from certain types of cancer, while reducing the recurrence risks.
Understanding the Role of Physical Activity in Cancer Risk Management
Studies conducted by scientists have explained the role of physical activity in cancer risk management. They have concluded that obesity will result in increased chances of various types of cancer.
Additionally, studies indicate that physical activity reduces the risk of several diseases through various mechanisms.
- Colon cancer:
Colon cancer symptoms have been extensively studied concerning physical activity. A meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies that researched the connection between colon cancer risk and physical activity concluded that physically active individuals appear to have a lower possibility of developing colon cancer.
The evidence suggested that people who exercise regularly are 40%-50% less likely to develop colon cancer compared to the set of individuals who don’t exercise regularly. Cases of colon cancers are lower in physically active people.
- Breast cancer:
Various studies have concluded that physically active women have lower risks of developing breast cancer compared to inactive women. It was seen that women who engage in exercise for more than 3 hours a week are 30% less likely to show breast cancer symptoms.
The association of physical activity with breast cancer was studied for both postmenopausal and premenopausal women. The association was found to be stronger in postmenopausal women.
- Endometrial cancer:
It is the cancer of the lining of the uterus. Several studies have examined the relationship between the risk of developing endometrial cancer and physical activity. The average rate of risk reduction for endometrial cancer with high physical activity was 20%.
Obesity is a risk factor for endometrial cancer. Exercise reduces the chances of the person being obese. This, in turn, reduces the risk of endometrial cancer.
How does Physical Activity help in Cancer Treatment?
The role of physical activity in cancer treatment is crucial. According to the latest studies, exercise reduces the risk of 13 types of cancer. However, physical activity can also help make cancer treatments like chemotherapy highly effective.
A typical environment surrounding cancer cells is hypoxic (lack of oxygen) and blood vessels have lower access to the cells in the chaotic environment. Hypoxia degrades tissues and cells, which is further aggravated by cancer treatment. However, exercise helps turn the table.
- Exercise controls the growth of cancerous cells, thereby increasing the effectiveness of cancer therapy while reducing cell and tissue degradation.
- Studies have found that physical activity can trigger stronger anti-tumor activities in the immune system.
- By reducing the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, physical activity allows one to finish their treatment course and kill cancerous growth effectively.
- Physical activity is shown to be a great supplement to immunotherapy (which boosts one’s immune system to fight cancerous cells) by boosting the immune activity.
- Exercise may also help reprogram the metabolism of cancerous cells by reducing its access to oxygen, thereby lowering the chances of hypoxia in its surrounding cells.
Role of Physical Activity in Cancer Winners
Studies have indicated that also, the role of physical activity in cancer winners is great. Especially when it comes to the quality of life, weight gain, prognosis, and preventing cancer recurrence. Most benefits of physical activity have been noted in cancer survivors diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer.
Being physically active since cancer diagnosis might result in better health outcomes for certain types of this disease. For example, in the case of breast cancer, active women had a 50% lower risk of death from breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence.
Physical activities also help to reduce the weight gained as a part of cancer treatment side effects. Exercises help to reduce body weight and body mass index. It also reduces fatigue and stress of the person diagnosed with cancer. Thus, the quality of life of the patient improves.