Cancer patients should now start following the advice of their doctors to exercise on a daily basis. Cancer is bad news. It shatters the life of those who are afflicted by it. Patients usually start feeling depressed, which in turn makes recovery difficult altogether. But what studies reveal is that challenging one’s physical abilities are now considered healthy in that exercise can actually help in the treatment and management of the disease. But bear in mind, exercise cannot fully guarantee recovery from cancer, but accepting defeat as evidenced by depression will only lead to more problems and can actually speed up the spread of the disease.
Physical pathways are identified to improve the outcomes in cancer patients. According to Kansas State University exercise physiologist Brad Behnke, who has been studying prostate cancer tumor growth and development in rats found that exercise may improve the blood flow to the muscles and to tumors. At first, this can sound like a bad thing. Common sense dictates, that if more blood is fed to the tumor, it grows and induces further metastasis. However, his research reveals quite the contrary. When a tumor is low on oxygen, it successfully produces growth factors that results in further growth and metastasis.
When a tumor is not receiving enough supply of oxygen, it then finds places where it can receive more oxygen supply in other parts of the body. When a tumor is supplied with oxygen on the other hand, its activity significantly slows down. This can be demonstrated through his experiments as evidenced by a whopping 90 percent decrease in tumor hypoxia or low oxygen among lab rats that were under long-term moderate-intensity cardio exercises.
Another study conducted by a different group of scientists reveals that aerobic exercises can result in normalization of the tissue environment in human breast tumors. In other words, exercise can really help the tissues in returning to their pre-tumor condition and even slow down the development of more aggressive and life-threatening cancer cells.
Moreover, increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to a tumor can increase the transport of cancer-fighting therapies to the tumor itself. For instance, individuals who exercise are known to respond better to traditional cancer treatments such as radiation therapy. Exercise may also improve blood flow by increasing the blood-pumping action as well as blood pressure, thus decreasing the level of blood vessel constriction.
Behnke’s research concentrates on low to moderate intensity exercises such as slow jogging and brisk walking to name a few.
In truth, there really aren’t any negative side effects in the implementation of moderate-intensity exercises. In fact, they can even improve the side effects of cancer and help in treating the disease altogether.
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Source: Wellness Bin
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