If you’re a regular reader, then you know how much I believe in the benefits of exercise. It’s not just as a tool to help keep the weight off… but as a means to prevent a stunningly long list of chronic diseases — including cancer.
The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) recently recommended regular exercise as a standard-of-care treatment for all cancer patients. Which means that oncologists and other cancer doctors will soon discuss it, prescribe it, and refer approved patients to exercise specialists.
The COSA guidelines recommend:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise) like walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming each week.
- Two to three weekly sessions of moderate to vigorous resistance exercise (like weight lifting) to target all the major muscle groups.
Exercise prescriptions ease cancer treatment side effects
Ultimately, these exercise “prescriptions” should be tailored to each individual patient — accounting for their overall health status, physical abilities, symptoms, and prognosis.
The rationale for the recommendations hinges on exercise as an effective way to combat certain side effects from cancer treatments. Which is not nearly as bold of a statement as I’d like. (These are oncologists after all. They’re not in the business of prevention, to say the least.)
But this is a win any way you slice it. And fortunately, other countries are on board too.
The UK, for example, also considers exercise to be standard care for cancer patients — citing strong data in support of its ability to combat fatigue, depression, and other adverse effects of traditional cancer therapy.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., we’re still “working on it” (surprise, surprise). There are no guidelines in place for oncologists and other practitioners.
In a country that used to be a leader, that’s pretty pathetic. It’s time we catch up to the standards used in international medical institutions.
Change is on the horizon
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, more guidance for U.S. oncologists is on the way. And it’s a good thing, too. Because I’m not so sure half the doctors in this country could properly execute a squat or a lunge, much less how to prescribe one.
And that has to change. Because whether or not the powers-that-be are prepared to admit it, exercise is one of your best forms of cancer prevention.
Sure, hard evidence supports it for general symptom relief. But there’s also a lot of data showing regular exercise reduces the risk of developing cancer in the first place.
And there’s also evidence that it can stop cancer reoccurrence and increase survival rates, too — particularly in patients with breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.
In fact, there’s a whole field of study called “exercise oncology” — which deals with physical activity not just to manage cancer symptoms, but also as a treatment for the disease.
It’s an exciting and very promising development in terms of cancer research. And I tackled it in-depth back in the July 2016 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives. (Subscribers have access to that article and more in my archives. So as always, if you haven’t signed up yet, there’s no day like today.)
The bottom line is that exercise isn’t just an effective way to prevent cancer. It’s also an important part of the cure.
Until next time,
P.S. I’m putting the finishing touches on a brand new online cancer protocol. It will be available in mid-July. So stay tuned right here for updates or follow my Facebook page.