Conducting physical exercises helps fighting cancer

Conducting physical exercises helps fighting cancer

MANY people do not perform Physical Activity (PA) as most of them do not know the benefit of conducting exercises.

However, many of them do not know the correct formula that one has to apply in PA, while others practice out of the established procedures based on the health principle.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), PA is any body movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. It refers to all movements during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places or as part of a person’s work.

According to physical experts, regular PA can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. Without regular activity, the body of a human being slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function properly.

PA also keeps the body physically fit and able. PA is very important to people who suffer from various diseases, such as cancer. Stressing the importance of physical activity to cancer patients, the Post-Doctoral Fellow from Institut Curie in Paris, France, Lidia Delrieu said more than a quarter of the world’s adult population are insufficiently active in making PA.

She was speaking during a nutrition, physical activities and cancer training held in Mwanza city recently to the health professionals and cancer’s survivors under the funding of Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP) to health professionals and cancer survivors “Worldwide, around one in three women and one in four men do not do enough physical activity to stay healthy,’” she says.

She expound that the level of inactivity is twice as high in high-income countries compared to low-income countries, adding that there has been no improvement in global levels of PA since 2000.

“Insufficient activity increased by five per cent (from 31.6 to 36.8 per cent) in high income countries between 2001 and 2016”, she says.

Dr Delrieu says that an increase in PA of 10, 20, or 30 minutes per day could reduce the number of deaths per year by 6.9, 13 and 16.9 percentages for 4,840 adults aged 40- 85 years.

She says in the United States, 110,000 deaths could be prevented each year with an additional 10 minutes of physical activity per day, where 37 per cent of cancers are due to lifestyle and environment.

Benefits of PA According to her, one who does PA make their health to be physically fit and participate fully in production activities, but it plays important roles for cancer patients.

“Epidemiological studies show that recreational PA reduces the risk of at least 13 different types of cancer (Friedenreich et al., 2019),” she says.

In cancer patients, she notes, numerous randomised trials and meta-analyses have shown a favourable benefitrisk on the consequences of the disease and side effects treatments.

In cancer patients, numerous randomised trials and meta-analyses have shown a favourable benefit-risk ratio on the consequences of the disease and side effects of treatments.

She says the most common side effect to cancer patients is that 80-90 per cent of patients treated with chemo or radiotherapy who conducted PA are often getting some relief.

According to her, PA helps improve fatigue during and after treatment (level A), more important effects if PA is started during treatment, intensify beyond moderate inversely associated with benefit on fatigue for level B/C.

Another benefit of PA according to Dr Delrieu, is the deconditioning with altered cardiorespiratory capacity and decreased strength and muscle mass to cancer patients.

“Sarcopenia and cachectic syndrome affect 15-50 per cent and 25-80 per cent of cancer patients, respectively, and may occur simultaneously », she says, adding that it also maintains and improves body composition (level A).

She says strengthening PA during and following treatment improves strength of muscle groups used (Level of Evidence A) “Results in terms of impact on muscle mass are heterogeneous (Level of Evidence C) while aerobic PA appears to have less comprehensive effects on muscle qualities,” she says, adding that lack of studies in advanced patients with cachexia and/or transplantation and high doses of chemotherapy associated with muscle wasting resulted into positive effects or improvement.

She clarifies that the benefit-risk balance on lymphedema in breast cancer patients is in favor of regular and progressive PA in postoperative period (Level A).

“There is a possible benefit of physical activity on some pain, chemo-induced neuropathy, cardiovascular toxicities (level C)” she says, adding that during treatment, the effect seems to be reversed when PA> 20 in hours per week.

“Prescription of PA in supervised programs has a superior benefit in terms of quality, compared to unsupervised programs” she adds. Dr Delrieu says other benefits include the impact on several mechanisms involved in the regulation of tumor proliferation , consistent data in favor of a positive effect on glycemic regulation and inflammatory markers (level B). “Other benefits are the best documented effects and mechanisms in breast cancer,” she says.

Dr Dr Delrieu clarifies that the benefit of PA before treatment is that the data suggest the benefit of preoperative PA on physical fitness, length of hospital stay and postoperative complications in patients with bronchopulmonary cancer (Level B/C).

She says during the treatment to a cancer patient, Meta-analyses show convergent evidence of numerous benefits and absence of risk of PA in the post-operative phase and during treatment with chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiotherapy (level A).

“After treatment there is regular PA (as for the general population) is recommended for people after cancer (Level A), “ she says adding that in palliative care given the diversity of clinical situations, there is insufficient evidence in the literature to make systematic recommendations.

She says in absence of specific exercise-related side effects in cancer patients (Level A), the patient’s condition must be re-evaluated regularly so as not to slow down his or her commitment to an active lifestyle.

She says PA, combining aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening, during the active phase of treatment, decreases the side effects of treatment, particularly fatigue, improves cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, quality of life, anxiety and depression.

“Rehabilitation through physical activity before lung cancer surgery reduces the length of hospital stay and decreases postoperative complications,” she says.

The physiotherapy from Bugando Medical Centre, Mr Denis Juma says lack of PA to some people could be one of the risk factors of causing some diseases.

“There is a big importance in doing PA to human beings in order to avoid the possibility of getting non communicable diseases,”’ he says.

Some Mwanza city residents say PA has a significant importance in their daily life but they lack some important food varieties that will enable them to undergo PA in their daily life.

Ms Pili Joseph who is a Buswelu resident says PA is very important in her daily life, but some of the people don’t conduct PA because of their low incomes.

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