Cancer recurrence can be avoided with physical activity: Study

ANI | | Posted by Tapatrisha Das, Washington
Mar 22, 2023 11:33 AM IST

The study noted that physical activity has been successful in delaying and preventing cancer recurrence in patients previously treated for colon cancer.

An observational study has found that physical activity can prevent, and not just delay, cancer recurrence in patients previously treated for colon cancer.

Cancer recurrence can be avoided with physical activity: Study
Cancer recurrence can be avoided with physical activity: Study

The study was published in the journal, 'British Journal of Sports Medicine'.

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"In this observational study of patients with stage III colon cancer, postoperative physical activity is associated with improved disease-free survival by lowering the recurrence rate within the first year of treatment, which translates into an overall survival benefit," the researchers said.

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These findings could have an impact on clinical practice in the future by refining the understanding of how physical activity improves cancer survivorship in a manner relevant to tumor biology and cancer care delivery. This study may be particularly relevant to patients who seek to understand the optimal time to begin physical activity to reduce their cancer recurrence risk.

With March being National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the timing of these findings is especially relevant for so many people around the country, and the world, who have been treated for colon cancer in the past," said Brown, who serves as Director of the Cancer Metabolism Program at Pennington Biomedical. Brown's father died from metastatic colorectal cancer at age 48, which has fortified his lifelong commitment to conducting innovative research to help colorectal cancer survivors live longer and healthier lives.

Between June 2010 and November 2015, 1,696 patients from 654 academic and community oncology centers in the United States and Canada were enrolled in the prospective nested cohort study. Physical activity was calculated based on self-reporting during and after chemotherapy.

During the study, the rate of cancer recurrence in physically active patients never exceeded that of physically inactive patients, and the disease-free survival benefit of physical activity persisted for approximately one year after surgical resection, and the overall survival benefit of physical activity persisted for approximately three years after surgery.

Physical activity is known to be safe for cancer survivors and is recommended during chemotherapy. The researchers found that the benefits from being physically active on cancer recurrence is larger if the patient is active shortly after surgery. Trials have also shown that physical activity during chemotherapy improves quality of life and reduces fatigue. Long-term benefits of physical activity also include a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

"Pennington Biomedical, especially with researchers like Dr. Justin Brown, is helping lead the way for cancer and metabolic disease research for the betterment of those in Louisiana and beyond. Biomedical research, with a particular focus on cancer, is also one of the pillars of LSU President William F. Tate IV's Scholarship First Agenda," said Dr. John Kirwan, Pennington Biomedical Executive Director.

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