Two studies recently published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship emphasize the benefits of exercise in cancer survivors. As the studies found, 3 or more hours of walking per week can significantly boost the health and vitality of prostate cancer survivors. Also, men and women who are survivors of colorectal cancer and regular walkers report much lower sensations of numbness, burning, tingling or loss of reflexes usually experienced after treatment.
The first study led by Siobhan Phillips of Northwestern University revealed the benefits of several types and intensities of exercise that prostate cancer survivors can practice to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. These conclusions followed a survey that enrolled 1,917 men who received a diagnosis before 2005 in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The research team found that 3 or more hours per week of walking significantly helped to improve hormone functioning and vitality of cancer survivors. Proper hormone function is usually linked to fewer feelings of body weight changes, depression, and other symptoms. Those survivors who walked for more than 90 minutes a week at a normal or fast pace had even more notable results. Walking proved to be extremely beneficial for prostate cancer survivors but the results concerning weightlifting were less clear since they were associated with increased urinary incontinence.
“Encouraging men to engage in non-vigorous activity and walking may be helpful for managing prostate cancer-related quality of life,” said Phillips.
Evidence from the Dutch study reflected the benefits that physical activity can provide. The study was led by Floortje Mols of Tilburg University and evaluated the data of 1,648 survivors of colorectal cancer obtained from a regional population-based survey, demonstrating that patients who preform weekly sessions of moderate to vigorous exercise experienced fewer of these symptoms 2 to 11 years after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.
“Regular physical activity plays an important role in colorectal cancer prevention, recurrence and mortality,” noted Mols.”Surviving a lifestyle-related illness perhaps makes patients more aware of the importance of physical activity,” the researcher added.