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Fighting cancer with exercise

After recently being involved in a charity aerobic marathon for Cancer research I felt I would like to write an article on this subject.

It is estimated that about one third of cancers are due to smoking and one third due to diet.

Cancer is responsible for more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK. The lifetime risk of developing cancer is about 40 per cent.

There are more than 200 different types of cancer, all with different causes. Leukaemia is the most common cancer in children representing one third of all cases.

The current estimated five-year relative survival rate is 31 per cent for men and 43 per cent for women, for all cancers combined.

Exercise and recovery

The role of exercise in helping cancer sufferers is now being increasingly investigated.

Overall there are positive effects on the cancer patients quality of life.

Improvements can be seen in muscular strength and flexibility, weight management, reduced fatigue, less nausea and diarrhoea, lower levels of pain.

Overall, it seems clear that exercise is a safe, feasible and beneficial activity for most cancer sufferers and survivors.

Exercising with cancer

Include three to five sessions a week. Avoid high intensity exercise during treatment.

Build up to at least a continuous 20 to 30 minutes of low intensity exercise.

Walking and cycling are good aerobic activities. Gradually increase frequency and length of workout.

Cut your risk with exercise

Recent evidence suggests that regular physical activity can reduce your risk of getting cancer by up to 50 per cent.

Some studies suggest that overall cancer risk is 20 to 40 per cent less in active individuals, compared to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, and that it is independent of other risk factors. What better reason to incorporate exercise into your life?

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