Get Moving for GI Cancers

Finding an activity that one can do regularly – whether that’s walking, playing basketball, cycling, or anything else that raises heart rates and moves big muscle groups – brings health benefits in a variety of ways. Lowering the risk of cancer is one such benefit, particularly when it comes to breast and colon cancers (as well as prostate, lung, and endometrial cancer risk).

Yet more than half of Americans continue to sit on their couches day in and day out. It doesn’t even take that much: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend just 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week.

In addition to preventing a number of cancers, exercise also provides benefits after cancer is diagnosed. A new study just released findings about exercise in those with metastatic colorectal cancer. When these patients take part in moderate physical activity every day, they lower both their mortality rate and cancer progression. This study was presented at the recent 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium in San Francisco, CA.

Colon cancer patients don’t need to become high-level athletes to benefit, even those walking, cleaning, and gardening for a half hour daily were seen to have slowed cancer progression and fewer deaths during the study period. Non-vigorous activities such as yoga also showed benefits, with 5 hours of yoga a week leading to a 25% lower mortality rate.

Now more than ever, it’s clear that getting moving – whether a person is healthy or already facing an illness – is the best choice for a healthier future.

Stephen C. Vogt, Pharm.D.
President and CEO
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy |

Guercio BJ, Venook AP, Niedzwiecki D, et al. Associations of physical activity with survival and progression in metastatic colorectal cancer: Results from CALGB 80405 (Alliance). Abstract presented at: 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium; January 19-21, 2016; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 659.

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