Cancer patients can reduce the risks of side effects and cancer recurrence by exercising regularly, a new report shows.
The report, “Move More: Physical activity the underrated ‘wonder drug,’”from Macmillan Cancer Support in the U.K., says that 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, the amount recommended by the U.K.’s four chief medical officers, is the minimum amount required to see the benefits.
Moderate intensity activity includes exercise such as cycling and very brisk walking, but also household tasks such as heavy cleaning and mowing the lawn.
The report presents four key findings:
1. Breast cancer patients’ risk of recurrence and of dying from the disease can be reduced by up to 40% by doing 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week.
2. Bowel cancer patients’ risk of recurrence and dying from the disease can be reduced by up to 50% by doing significant amounts of physical activity; this means about six hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week.
3. Prostate cancer patients’ risk of dying from the disease can be reduced by up to 30% by doing the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity.
After treatment, all cancer patients can reduce their risk of side effects from cancer and its treatment, including fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, and heart disease, by doing the recommended levels of physical activity.