Exercise To Battle Colorectal Cancer: Fact Or Myth

Daily exercise to battle Colorectal Cancer is recommended. Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is the cancer of the rectum or the colon. If it spreads to other body parts, it is called Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

CRC is one of the most prevalent types of cancer. In recent times, advanced technology has enabled early detection of cancer, increasing the 5-year survival rates considerably. Out of 75% of cancer patients diagnosed with stage 1-3 CRC, the 5-year survival rate has neared 65%.

The chances of long-term survival may be less in metastatic diseases, but with improvements in treatment strategies, patients diagnosed with CRC have been living for more than two years. CRC stands third in the list of most common types of cancer, and fourth in the list of common causes of death related to cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors

Factors that pose as Colorectal Cancer risks include genetics, unhealthy eating habits and environmental circumstances. These can contribute to the advancement of CRC. List of Colorectal Cancer risk factors:

  • low-fiber diet
  • a diet high in red meat (beef and pork)
  • high-fat diet
  • a diet high in processed meat (hot dogs and bologna)
  • obesity
  • excess belly fat
  • smoking
  • consumption of alcohol
  • advanced age
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • type 2 diabetes
  • inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
  • family history of CRC or colon polyps

Regular exercise to battle Colorectal Cancer is a possibility. Early screening facilities and revised treatment methods can aid in Colorectal Cancer treatment to some extent, but new therapies don’t guarantee an increase in survival rates. Therefore, doctors recommend daily exercising to cope with Cancer Treatment side effects.

Types of exercise to battle colorectal cancer

Researchers conclude that CRC patients who exercise to battle Colorectal Cancer are relatively more successful. During their chemotherapy, they experience a delay in their CRC advancement. Also, they are able to fight their Colorectal Cancer treatment side effects better.

Statistics denote that CRC affects people in older age groups. Few oncologists recommend getting a colonoscopy occasionally after the age of 50 to lower the risk of CRC. If diagnosed with one or more risk factors above, doctors might suggest getting a colonoscopy starting from age 45.

The study also points out that moderate or light exercise can have a significant impact on CRC, reducing its progression by 20%. The analysis suggests that vigorous physical activity can increase the chances of survival in patients. Another study proves that short bursts of intensive physical activity can halt the growth of CRC tumors.

To exploit the maximum benefits of exercise to battle colorectal cancer, the fitness plan or regime must be pre-planned and well-structured. One can engage in light to moderate exercise easily while talking. Vigorous activities include those which increase the heart rate and make you break into a sweat.

Light to moderate exercises to battle Colorectal Cancer include the following

  • Brisk walking: Brisk walking can prevent and manage heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high pressure.
  • Gardening/ lawn mowing/ yard work: Nature has relaxing qualities and can reduce Stress and enhance mental clarity.
  • Playing double tennis: Playing double tennis helps lower body fat, increase bone density, improve metabolic function, and lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate.
  • Yoga: Yoga can help reduce depression, anxiety, fatigue, and Stress. It can also help enhance the spiritual well-being, quality of sleep, and mood of the patient.
  • Slow bike riding: Slow bike riding can enhance joint health, build muscle, help in maintaining a healthy weight, improve balance, and relieve Stress.

Vigorous exercise to battle Colorectal Cancer include the following

  • Fast bicycling: Fast bicycling can reduce body fat levels, strengthen bones, reduce Stress and anxiety, and improve joint mobility.
  • Running or jogging: Jogging can help maintain a healthy weight and enhance cardiovascular fitness.
  • Playing singles tennis: Playing singles tennis can lower body fat, increase bone density, and improve metabolic function.
  • Jumping rope: Jumping rope burns major calories and improves coordination and cardiovascular health.
  • Playing basketball: Playing basketball burns calories, promotes mental development, and increases bone strength.
  • Hiking uphill: Hiking uphill can improve the body’s metabolism, work the leg muscles, increase exercise intensity, and burn calories.

Exercise to battle colorectal cancer: Benefits

  • Enhances immune function
  • Reduce insulin resistance
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce the time for food to pass through the colon, thereby reducing the chances of exposure to carcinogens
  • Lowering insulin and estrogen which may contribute to the growth of cancer cells
  • Fight depression, improve self-esteem, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Lessen Fatigue by 40-50%

Things to avoid

  • Patients undergoing Colorectal Cancer treatment must avoid vigorous physical activity in case of low RBC count.
  • Stay off from heavyweight training during active treatment
  • If you have a low WBC count, then say no to public gym equipment.

Get started with exercises to battle colorectal cancer

Follow these few tips to get started with Exercising to battle CRC

  • Get in touch with your doctor about fitness and exercise programs available at the Cancer Treatment center.
  • Design your fitness plan according to your preferences and health.
  • Set short-term goals that you can easily achieve.
  • Take breaks whenever your body asks for it.
  • Don’t overwork yourself into an exercising frenzy.
  • Take the stairs instead of taking the lift.
  • Start exercising with a friend.

Research clarifies that it is not necessary to engage in hard core physical activity to gain survival benefits. When it comes to battling the effects of colorectal cancer, getting up and moving about is more than enough. But it’s vital to get started at the right time with exercise to battle Colorectal Cancer.

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