It’s been known for a long time that maintaining a healthy weight and eating a diet rich in nutrients can help to slow the development of certain cancers. New research into how diet and exercise affects the reoccurrence of cancer was revealed today, with more research expected to be released over the course of the week. Scientists are concluding that ‘diet and exercise are the best ways to fight cancer’, the emphasis switching from using these factors as a preventative measure, to using them as a tool for patients that have already suffered, or are suffering, with the disease.
Today, new information about an upcoming study has also been released, which will analyse over 3000 women from the US and Canada who have previously suffered from breast cancer. Half of the group will receive regular diet and exercise assistance over two years to see how this affects the reoccurrence of cancer, compared to those doing little or no exercise.
Implementing a diet and exercise plan has already been shown to help those with advanced levels of cancer, with experts saying ‘losing 5 per cent of body weight – which could mean as little as ten pounds – could lead to a 20 per cent increase in breast cancer survival.’
Two out of three British residents are either overweight or obese. This means that the outcomes of this research, and the findings published over the next few weeks, could mean a complete overhaul in the advice given to cancer patients, with the importance of diet and exercise emphasised further in relation to their role in cancer prevention.
Some past research statistics on the effects of exercise and nutrition on the development of cancer are as follows:
· A 25 minute daily walk almost halved mortality among breast cancer sufferers
· Having a waist measurement over 35 inches increased death rates by one third
· Losing 5% body weight could lead to a 20% increase in breast cancer survival
· Obesity is linked to over 10 types of cancer, including breast, bowel and ovarian
The upcoming US study will be conducted by Dr Jennifer Ligibel, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and will be the largest, and most significant, study that’s looked into the relationship between weight loss and cancer. The research is predicted to consolidate facts already published, with data on a much larger scale. Experts have said that the implementation of a weight loss and nutrition plan is second to only direct cancer treatment, with simple lifestyle changes significantly improving cancer survival rates.
As a nation, we should be working to lower our obesity levels. Two-thirds of our population are overweight, and this is having a detrimental effect on our illness and mortality rates. If obesity levels were brought down, it’s very likely that we would have a much lower rate of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
We should all be conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies, as well as how active we are. All it takes is small changes to make a big difference, and this extra effort could end up making a world of difference to how your body reacts to disease in the future. This doesn’t mean that you have to hit the gym hard for two hours everyday, simply introducing some low impact activity can be enough to begin incorporating daily exercise into your lifestyle. A brisk 20-minute walk, bike ride around your village, or jog around your local park are all effective ways of introducing exercise into your everyday routine.
Making the effort to control your weight and become more active now, could mean the world of difference to your future.