Running and the big C

Guest post by : Melanie Bowen

Running as a Means of Preventing and Fighting Cancer

While most people associate science with developing new and complicated means of accomplishing certain tasks, science often confirms basic facts that many find intuitive. While it may seem strange today, doctors and researchers were once reluctant to state that physical fitness had much of an effect on cancer. Recent studies, however, have shown that the correlation between high levels of physical fitness and low levels of cancer rates is strong. Below is an overview of how running and other forms of exercise can help in the fight against cancer.

Preventative Effects of Running

From colon to breast cancer, researchers have found a link between exercise and cancer wherever one has been sought. Recently, scientists have discovered that those who exercise regularly reduce their risk of developing endometrial cancer significantly. Modern studies control for weight and other risk factors, so the effect of exercise on cancer goes beyond merely preventing obesity. Doctors have been telling patients for years that running can help reduce their odds of developing heart disease and strokes; many doctors are now adding cancer to this list.

Fighting Through Chemotherapy

Those who have undergone chemotherapy will attest to the fact that it is grueling, and the lengthy nature of chemotherapy treatments combined with its energy-draining effects can make an especially tough to deal with. By running before chemotherapy treatments commence, patients can arm themselves with the endurance needed to make it through treatments as well as possible. Running has also been linked to lower levels of depression, which is also common during chemotherapy for patients battling mesothelioma to melanoma.

Recovering as Quickly as Possible

Studies have also shown that exercise helps patients reduce the risk of developing cancer in the future, and those who make exercise a part of their lives will be less likely to have to fight cancer again. Recovery from cancer will take time, and survivors should not expect to return to their former levels of fitness quickly. By starting with walking and slowly returning to running, however, cancer survivors will find their endurance levels returning.

Fighting cancer often takes months or years, and recovery will be difficult. However, people can have some control over their likelihood of developing cancer and treating it, and those who run on a regular basis will prepare themselves to succeed should they be faced with cancer in the future.