Exercise can benefit cancer survivors and patients according to a report released recently by the UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support. The report disproves the theory that those suffering with cancer or who have beaten the disease should simply rest, which is something doctors have been telling cancer patients to do for years.
So now instead of prescribing rest, the cancer charity is now telling doctors to prescribe physical activity to those at all stages of cancer from diagnosis to later stages.
The report titled “Move More” was based on over 60 studies and a survey of 400 health professionals who deal with cancer patients.
The report showed that doing recommended levels of physical activity can cut risk of recurrence and dying from breast cancer by up to 40 percent and from prostate cancer by up to 30 percent.
For bowel cancer patients, exercising significantly could cut the risk of recurrence and dying from the disease up to 50 percent.
It also showed that side effects such as depression, fatigue and osteoporosis could be cut down if the patient follows recommended levels of exercise.
Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, told the press that the report proves the importance of physical activity for cancer survivors, and that it should not only be offered to them as an option by doctors but should actually be “prescribed” to those suffering with the disease.
He also claimed that cancer patients would be “shocked” if they knew how much exercise could help them in their recovery.
According to Devane, the physical activity that cancer survivors should participate in does not have to be strenuous exercise and that it can consist of activities like gardening or going for a brisk walk or swim.
“Health professionals can refer patients to a variety of services such as physiotherapy, specialist exercise programs at leisure centers, or walking groups,” said Devane.