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Chris Woolmams / Catherine Woollams
Moderate exercise make tumours less aggressive and improves treatments

Brad Behnke and fellow researchers at Kansas State University have shown that moderate exercise on a regular basis helps to oxygenate tumours making them less aggressive and more sensitive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Their definition of ‘moderate exercise’ was a brisk walk or a slow jog – enough to get you puffed!

The latest study followed people with prostate cancer and was aimed at understanding more about ‘how’ exercise helped. Researchers made three conclusions:

  * Firstly, tumours have hypoxic pockets and dysfunctional vascular systems preventing oxygen entering. And when tumours have low oxygen they are more aggressive.

However, exercise manipulates the various body systems – heart, lungs, blood vessels and hormones, increasing correct blood flow to the tissue and oxygenation. Then the tumours become less aggressive.

  * Secondly, such oxygenation pre-sensitises the cancer cells and makes them MORE sensitive to cancer drugs and radiotherapy.

  * Thirdly, exercise can actually counter some of the side-effects of orthodox treatment such as fatigue, low blood count, lost muscle mass and even cachexia.

Get Puffed

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and Founder of CANCERactive commented, “The key is MODERATE exercise. When I help people build effective Personal Programmes to fight their cancer, I always suggest that exercise is an important factor. But not ‘going for the burn’, or running miles every day. This can be counter-productive because with high levels of exercise body systems shut down – for example, the vascular system to tumours. Equally, no-exercise is a problem too. The researchers showed that people should be using 30-60% of their aerobic capacity. I always tell people to ´GET PUFFED´ – brisk walking, and after 20 minutes taking on an incline up-hill for 5-15 minutes. 45 minutes overall. Even those for whom chronic fatigue is a problem, will benefit”.

The Research was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Woollams added, “Behnke and others have also shown the power of exercise and consequent oxygenation to enhance radiotherapy. Exercise produces anti-cancer hormones too. It is a powerful drug”.

Go To: Exercise is a powerful, anti-cancer drug

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