Cancer, the killer disease is battled with drugs and radiation. But recent studies reveal that exercises like the humble walking, can reduce the mortality of cancer victims by 50 to 60 percent.
The Australian public is pretty much aware of the benefits of exercise in the prevention of heart disease, obesity and diabetes but little is known about the effects of exercise on cancer.
Three out of ten Australians die every year from cancer, the most common being prostate, colorectal and lung cancer for men and breast cancer for women.
Studies, recorded in the journal of American Medical Association, astounded scientists when it revealed that walking 3 to 5 hours a week reduced the mortality of breast cancer victims by 40 percent. This was performed on 2987 women.
This finding is strengthened with another study published in the journal Clinical Oncology which showed more that 50 percent increase in survival rate and as well as prevention of relapse in colorectal cancer victims.
Scientist s may not know yet the physiology of this observation, but proposed suggestions are improvement in hormone regulation, decrease in free radicals, enhanced anti- tumor immune function and decrease in insulin levels.
More research is needed in this subject such as prescribing and optimizing types of exercise, as oncologists would probably lack the knowledge and confidence of proposing such exercises.
One thing is certain though; cancer patients would be more than willing to try out exercises if made aware of these benefits.