AHA! This May Be the Reason
I am hopeful that the title of today's blog aroused your interest. I am pretty sure that another bland title about the importance of exercise would stimulate only yawns or irritation at my obsession. This is an editorial from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that actually explains the likely/possible reasons why regular physical activity may reduce mortality from cancer. You will have to read it yourself to find the answer, but it makes a lot of sense and it is very nice indeed to have something that we can do to help ourselves.
As an aside, thank you all who have written to thank me for my ongoing entries about exercise. Four of you wrote me last week to thank me for the motivation. Here is a quote: "Also, thank you for nudging me out the door. I read your blog on exercise & realized I had not taken a walk in quite a few days. Fighting a cold/allergy & the rainy weather, I pried the remote out of my husband's hand last night & we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Today & tomorrow are my dog walking days, so I'm back on track."
Physical Activity as a Standard Cancer Treatment
Edward L. Giovannucci
In this issue of the Journal, Ballard-Barbash et al. extensively review the potential effects of physical activity on cancer-specific and all-cause mortality. They also summarized the effect of physical activity interventions on potential intermediate biomarkers of cancer progression, such as insulin. Unlike previous reviews, which focused on functional health and quality of life, this review addresses the more provocative question of whether physical activity can actually improve cancer-specific survival. Many may accept general health benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors, but the implication of a direct anticancer effect could engender some skepticism. Given the limited success that the most potent and cleverly designed drugs have had on cancer to date, why should something as seemingly simple as walking have potent anticancer activity? We are far from having definitive answers to this question, but as reviewed by Ballard-Barbash et al, perhaps, we are getting closer to an answer.
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