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Exercise & Cancer

llight
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2010

Jan’s post in another thread about exercise got me interested in doing some research. I thought I’d share what I found on exercise and cancer risk. I included the breast cancer/exercise stats because I couldn’t find anything like it regarding endometrial cancer survivorship. Exercise measurements are made in METS which you can read more about below. We really need to exercise even if it's just a little bit during treatment or just to get started!

Endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer and prevention: gaps in existing research of modifiable risk factors, Eur J Cancer, 2008
“Next generation therapies for endometrial cancer and endometrial hyperplasia patients should include DIET, EXERCISE and weight loss plans, which would target other modifiable aspects of endometrial cancer risk.”


Physical Activity and Cancer -- NCI

“…Studies suggest that women who are physically active have a 20 percent to 40 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer (6), with the greatest reduction in risk among those with the highest levels of physical activity.”

METS [Metabolic Equivalents] tables
Recreational/Physical Activities
Home & Work Activities

Exercise improves cancer survival, reduces risk, scientists say
“Taking into account the stage of disease, obesity and other factors, the relative risk of death from breast cancer was decreased with every level of physical activity compared with being sedentary. The risk of death from breast cancer was 19 percent less among women who undertook 3-8.9 met-hours/week of exercise; 54 percent less for 9-14.9 met-hours/week; 42 percent less for 15-23.9 met-hours/week; and 29 percent less for 24 or more met-hours/week of recreational exercise.”

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

This is excellent information. What I find interesting, the speaker series I attended, the doc who spoke didn't hold up "higher results when increasing activities". For example most of us would think running vs. walking would bring up our percentages of pushing back cancer. She basicially told the group to do something in way of exercise, and not specific on types or METS.

I figure if I have to pull my body thru the streets with a fast-paced run, I have hopes of better outcomes vs. a simple pace of walking. This article does go inline with what I've read over the last year....more intensity of exercise, better results!!!!

Off to the gym.....any followers?
Jan

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

The more common type of uterine cancer that occurs 90% of the time is estrogen driven, and because carrying excess weight increases your estrogen levels, it makes perfect sense that exercise would help you prevent the most common form of uterine cancer. But I think with UPSC and the more aggressive rarer types of uterine cancer, exercise does little to improve your chances of not getting it. I worked in health clubs as an aerobics instructor and taught yoga at the YMCA for many years, ran 7 miles a day, and up until the day of my surgery, went to the gym 6 days a week to do 10 miles on the ellyptic machine and lift weights. I was a size 2 until I was 50, eating an organic diet high in fiber and veggies, lifelong non-smoker, no risk factors at all, content. I don't think there is much more I could have done to keep myself healthy, and up until 'cancer' caught me, I WAS ridiculously healthy.

I continued on my healthy diet throughout my cancer treatment and continue to exercise as much as I can. (Finding time is my problem now because I still have a business to run AND I have weekly chemo; and the chemo-fatigue and other PRIORITIES make gym time less appealing.) But with all I do to stay/be healthy, I've still had 2 recurrences. Whether a Grade 3 cancer returns or not is a crap shoot; "the luck of the draw" as much as originally GETTING one of these rare cancers is. "LUCK" is a key player in all this. Still, we have to do what we can. And find a balance between keeping your health at its optimum, and living life with gusto and fun!

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I was thinking about you the other day as remember your mentioning lots of working out -- aerobics, yoga, weights, and on tops of that eating quite well. Hum....doesn't make sense does it but all we can do is the best we can and hope the cards fall in our favor.

The only control I have with cancer is type of food I place in my mouth and the exercise I endure each day. Beyond that I'm walking close to cancer daily. I've got the more aggressive type too, MMMT, so best to do what I can daily.

Before my diagnosis I was quite similar, except didn't work in the fitness area. I was one shocked girl that I had cancer....something good wasn't on my side I can only presume. I do what I can and hope the cancer stays at bay for a while or forever.

Best to everyone and keep doing what we're doing....can't become couch potatoes can we?
Jan

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I guess my last post was somewhat cynical, because we HAVE to try and impact our prognosis, or we will sink into dispair, and you are right that diet and exercise are the very few things we can control in this crazy out-of-control journey. I exercise (heavy gardening & digging mostly now) because physical activity has always made me feel vibrantly ALIVE; and I love the feeling of sweating and using my body. And so if going to the gym makes you happy and hopeful, GO! But if it is a chore and takes time away from things you love more, don't go. That's what I meant about priorities. I'm trying to live every moment now by my personal value system and priorities: making memories for my loved ones and securing my business for the security of my heirs; and enjoying all the good things of this earth while I'm still here: garden-fresh salads,... AND fabulous desserts!

I do believe that LUCK (good or bad) determines a lot of how things play out for each of us. To suggest otherwise borders on smugness coming from where I'm sitting. But I remember all the Sports Awards Banquet speeches I've sat through in my lifetime, where coaches reminded us again and again that "LUCK is when preparedness meets opportunity." PREPARE yourself to be at your optimal health, so you'll be ready if that opportunity comes along!

GracieGold's picture
GracieGold
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2010

I too have been very conscious of healthy lifestyles all of my adult life; and I was diagnosed with UPSC Stage 1A in May of this year. I am also in remission with NH Lymphoma (first diagnosed in 2002 then again in 2005) which can be caused by environmental toxins. So when I wonder what could have been a contributing factor to my two very different cancers, I think both of "the luck of the draw" and environmental toxins. I wonder about all those tampons that I used for a week out of every month for almost 40 years inserting them right next to my mucus membranes. Most commercial tampons are not made from organic materials and are chlorine bleached. A byproduct of the chlorine bleaching process is dioxin. Dioxin is one of the most carcinogenic substances known. Does anyone else have any information on this or what other factors could influence our bodies to develop UPSC? I feel like I want to shout from the rooftops for all young women to use only organic and oxygen bleached feminine products.

I have been reading all the discussions for two months now and I want to thank all who have been contributing. I have been shy and slow to add my comments, but I do want you all to know that I have been sending love and positive healing energy to all my sister warriors.
Kathy

bea-mil's picture
bea-mil
Posts: 106
Joined: Jun 2010

Very good point.
I agree with you that our toxic environment is a major contributing factor to our health problems.
A new Statistics Canada survey, released yesterday, revealed that nearly all Canadians contain some bisphenol A , the controversial estrogen-mimicking chemical found in some plastic bottles and tin cans.
The amount, however, was just over one part per billion, an exceedingly small amount - but still a thousand times higher than natural levels of estrogen found in the body.

http://www.canada.com/health/Younger+Canadians+have+more+their+bodies+than+parents+Study/3408117/story.html

llight
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2010

I wanted to add a good source that shows exercise affects many different kinds of cancer.

According to this video, hundreds of studies have been done on the benefits of exercise and have shown about a 50% reduction of getting different types of cancer. Studies in the last couple years show exercise can improve one’s survival after a cancer diagnosis.

“…About a year after your diagnosis, if you exercise about 30 mins/day, or say 2-3 hours per week, doing a moderate intensity exercise such as brisk walking or bicycling you can decrease your risk of recurrence approximately by about 50%.”

She goes on to say one can, also, decrease fatigue and nausea by starting an exercise program at the beginning of chemo or radiation treatment. If anyone knows how hard or impossible this can feel, it’s me. But do it if you can. Just a little.

Don’t forget Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s core message, is that it is the combination of ALL these non-medicinal agents (exercise, anticancer phytochemical foods to help detox and support our system, Omega 3s, Vit. D, support, and stress mgmt.) that can help us in our fight.

Linda, love that phrase “Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.” Sadly we don’t know what the true causes of luck are in some but it doesn’t hurt to use all the possible influential boosters that we can if that fits in to where we are in our journey. Thanks for sharing.

VIDEO: The benefits of exercise for cancer survivors – Connecticut Challenge Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center

Good short web page on the subject:
WEB PAGE: Exercise and Survivorship – Connecticut Challenge Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center

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