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Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence

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Unread 05-07-2004, 12:33 PM
Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence


Summarized and paraphrased from an LA Times article entitled "Actively Fighting Cancer" that ran May 3.

The first half of the article talked about how exercise during treatment helps promote healing while eliminating weight gain, depression, fatigue and muscle loss. But the part of the article that we'd all be interested in started midway through and deals with recurrence:

-- In March, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and Harvard University, presented results to the American Association of Cancer Research from a study of 2296 women tracked two years after their breast cancer diagnosis from 1986-2002. Women were participants in the Nurse's Health Study (my mom has long been a participant).

-- The lead researcher said that risk of death was decreased with every level of physical activity compared to being sedentary.

-- Recurrence rates dropped 19% among women who did the equivalent of walking 1-3 hours per week. RECURRENCE RATES DROPPED 54% AMONG THOSE WHO EXERCISED 3-5 HOURS PER WEEK.

-- Doctors said they already knew that exercise improved quality of life, but that they didn't realize that it improved the odds of survival.

-- Doctors say one possible reason for the improvement in survival odds is that exercise reduces the levels of insulin and estrogen in the body. And both hormones have been shown to boost the rate of cancer cell growth in the body.

-- They said exercise also helps boost immune function, which can help keep cancer in check.

-- Finally, doctors said being overweight increases the change of cancer recurrence, so keeping weight off through exercise and proper eating is also key to preventing recurrence.

Personal Note: A 30-year-old girl in my young adults cancer group at the Wellness Community has inoperable Stage 4 stomach cancer. She is on 24-hour chemo and is too weak to do much. But I gave her a big lecture about walking, and about how much better she'd feel afterwards -- even though it would be hard for her to even walk down the block. The next week, she came in and told me that she'd walked twice, and had tons more energy afterwards than she'd had since her diagnosis. She had to force herself, because she is so weak. But it helped her.

s to all of you! And now, I'm going for a walk!

BTW -- Yesterday in my yoga class, movie star Gina Gershon was on the mat next to me. It was kind of funny to do yoga with a movie star -- especially because her body was just too perfect.
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Unread 05-07-2004, 02:35 PM
Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence

Oh, Siren Song, I love this about the importance of exercise. I always feel so much more energized after it - and I am only talking about walking here, nothing more strenuous than that. But, it just makes me feel so good. I truly believe that energy begets more energy, so no matter how 'fatigued' I may feel, I'm walking each day. And have more energy after! I just put one foot in front of the other, and go. Initially, after my ops., I would carry a dollar in my pocket just in case I felt that I couldn't make it back, but that never happened. Probably psychological there!

And I really believe that 2 things, over my entire adult life, (and I'm 51 now) that helped me in my now battle with Ovca were 1. nutrition - I did not eat fast food or junk food, and 2. whether it was swimming or horseback riding or walking, I exercised. Just for the sheer physical joy of it! And probably some beta endorphins kicked in too, there! to make me feel good, too.
Unread 05-07-2004, 04:38 PM
Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence

Siren Song,
Thank you for this article. i knew all my hiking, skiing, rolerblading and dog walking made me happier, and if it is keeping cancer away that that is icing on the cake.
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Unread 05-07-2004, 05:01 PM
Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence

s SirenSong

Right before reading your latest post, I received the following email of ovca ralated articles from the NOCC.
Note the third article and its content.
Even I found this a bit bizarre.
I guess we are ****ed if we do and ****ed if we don't.
I sure admire your energy in all your avenues of fitness.


FDA Panel Backs More Study Of Anemia Drug Risks


Pre-Cancer Can Occur After Many Normal Pap Tests


Activity May Raise Ovarian Cancer Risk In Older Women


Top Abstracts In Ovarian Cancer


RB2 Expression Could Play Vital Role In Ovarian Cancer


Wine Linked To Lower Ovarian Cancer Rate


Changes In Ovaries Could Indicate Higher Risk Of Ovarian Cancer


New Agents Investigated For Chemotherapy-Resistant Ovarian Cancer


Ovarian Cancer May Be More Histologically Uniform Than Once Thought


B-Scan Ultrasound Is Effective In Evaluating Ovarian Masses


A Wake-UP Call For Ovarian Cancer


Diet High In Vegetables May Improve Ovarian Cancer Survival


Ovarian Cancer Articles (Australia – only 1 in 100 women there get ovca!)


Good News In Ovarian Cancer Trials


Thank you. Virginia

--------- End Forwarded Message ---------
Unread 05-07-2004, 06:04 PM
Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence

I find this very interesting.

About 6 or 7 months after starting an exercise program I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and never would have connected the two. I read the article Karenann.

Now, two years after this whole ordeal I continue to exercise and am doing well. In fact, the last time I went to the oncologist/gynocologist he said and I quote, "Everything looks and feel great...continue doing whatever it is you are doing!!"

Well, the only thing different that I was doing was exercise. So, for what it is worth, I continue to exercise and hope for the best.

Unread 05-07-2004, 06:17 PM
Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence

Several of these articles are of great interest: (((SirenSong))), I thought about you and your love of wine when I read the Australian study. The exercise study seems to be notable for the fact that it was previously post-menopausal women that showed the correlation (well, previous to their OVCA diagnosis).

The Pap article was of particular interest, as I'd had 30+ years of normal Pap smears and my first positive one was over a year AFTER my (supracervical) hysterectomy. It bears out what we keep saying around here: keep up those vaginal vault smears!! Granted, only by certain criteria am I considered "older" , but this gives the lie to many women's belief that once they've had a total hyst, they no longer need to have exams or Paps. Maybe this will serve to change the criteria for post-menopausal frequency??

I sure hope the new drugs mentioned in one of the articles can get fast-tracked into their (hopefully large) clinical trials, so that those of you who are dealing with recurrences have a chance to look into them .

Thanks so much, (((Karenann))) for sharing this information bonanza with us!

Unread 05-07-2004, 07:21 PM
Harvard Study Shows Exercise Helps Prevent Recurrence

Thanks Karenann for the info.
I think I'll have a glass of wine.....
Ruth S

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