Cancer survivors are capable of living longer lives due to improvements in cancer therapies and screenings. Information is frequently studied concerning how life factors, such as exercise, can affect their prognosis. Various observational studies and randomized control trials have examined the potential impact of physical activity on cancer survivors.
Lead author, Rachel Ballard-Barbash, M.D., and her team of fellow researchers reviewed 45 articles of randomized controlled trials and observational studies. Published between 1950 and 2011, these studies examined the relationship between physical activity and cancer mortality. They discovered that exercise is potentially beneficial to the survivors’ insulin levels and also reduces inflammation and may improve immunity.
The strongest evidence was discovered among those who survived with breast cancer, followed by those who survived with colon cancer. A majority of studies displayed a statistically significant decrease in risk for breast cancer and all-cause mortality related to physical activity.
The researchers clarify that due to the diversity of the various studies, specific recommendations regarding exercise types or time cannot be made. However, they do confirm that exercise contributes to the cancer survivors’ overall safety and to their physical and mental benefits.
The researchers claim that future randomized controlled trials should examine various types of exercise, including how obesity, weight loss, and cancer treatments may impact the effects of exercise on biomarkers. The researchers also believe its important to study how exercise may influence comorbidities in cancer survivors.
They continue saying that future RCTs should examine various types of exercise, including howobesity, weight loss and cancer treatments may impact the effects of exercise on biomarkers, as well as how exercise may influence comorbidities in cancer survivors.
Edward Giovannucci, M.D. of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public health comments, "Even though direct effects of physical activity on cancer are not definitely proven, given that physical activity is generally safe, improves quality of life for cancer patients, and has numerous other health benefits, adequate physical activity should be a standard part of cancer care."