Exercise helps cancer survivors keep ailment at bay

August 8th, 2011 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 8 (IANS) Exercise may work as effectively as a “wonder drug” for cancer survivors by keeping the disease at bay.

Such activity could also help cancer victims undergoing treatment, according to British charity Macmillan Cancer Support. It asks physicians to prescribe exercise rather than advising them rest, as in the past.

More than 60 studies reviewed for the charity found that physical activity during treatment had positive effects on a victim’s mood and wellbeing.

Once treatment is through, exercise can lessen side-effects such as swelling, anxiety, depression, fatigue, impaired mobility and changes to weight, the Daily Mail reports.

For example, women with breast cancer who exercise moderately for two-and-a-hour hours every week cut down risk of dying. This level of exercise also helps in remission of disease by more than 40 percent, compared to those who are active for less than an hour weekly.

Moderate exercise includes very brisk walking, heavy cleaning - such as washing windows, vacuuming and mopping - mowing the lawn, cycling and badminton.

More than half of physicians, practice nurses, oncologists and cancer nurses did not speak to their patients about the possible benefits of exercise, or only spoke to a few of them, Macmillan Cancer Support found.

The charity’s chief medical officer Jane Maher said: “If physical exercise were a drug, it would be hitting the headlines.”

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