Walking ‘can reduce risks of cancer’

By admin
02 September 2014

Walking a mile a day can cut cancer patients' risk of death by nearly half, claim scientists.

A new study has revealed findings that a daily stroll can slash the risk of death by up to 40 per cent in those diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer.

Further results suggested those suffering with bowel cancer can halve their risk of dying if they walk two-and-a-half miles daily.

The research was carried out by Walking for Health, a network of walking groups run by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Ramblers, based on review evidence in Macmillan Cancer Support’s Move More report.

As well as a possible better survival rate, the study found physical activity can help elevate some of the unbearable side effects of cancer treatment, such as swelling around the arm, anxiety, depression, fatigue, impaired mobility and weight changes.

"Today’s research highlights the very simple reality – walking can save lives," Ciarán Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, outlined.

"We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to what is a very simple and obvious solution. Physical activity is a wonder drug and health care professionals must prescribe physical activity, such as walking, as a standard part of cancer recovery."

While the reasons behind the proposed breakthrough are still unclear, new thinking into the theory suggests it may be down to exercise breaking down oestrogen to produce ‘good’ metabolites that lower the risk of some cancers.

It found that those suffering with breast cancer could see risk of death cut by 40 per cent, and in prostate cancer patients it was 30 per cent. The mile-long walk every day, based on a pace of 3mph, taking around 20 minutes, was compared to those who were completing less than an hour of exercise a week.

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