According to a report released recently by the UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support exercise can benefit cancer survivors, including prostate cancer survivors. This report disproves the theory that those suffering with cancer or who have beaten the disease should simply rest.

Rest no more, exercise should be prescribed to those at all stages of cancer from diagnosis to later stages. The report titled “Move More” was based on over 60 studies and a survey of 400 health professionals who treat cancer survivors.

The report demonstrated that physical activity can cut risk of recurrence and dying from breast cancer by up to 40 percent and from prostate cancer by up to 30 percent! For bowel cancer survivors, exercising significantly could cut the risk of recurrence and dying from the disease up to 50 percent!
Along with cutting back the risk of a cancer recurrence and living longer, exercise also showed that side effects such as depression, fatigue and osteoporosis could be cut down.

Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, told the press that the report proves the importance of physical activity for cancer survivors, and that it should not only be offered to them as an option by doctors but should actually be “prescribed” to those fighting with cancer. He also claimed that cancer survivors would be “shocked” if they knew how much exercise could help them.

According to Devane, the physical activity that cancer survivors should participate in does not have to be strenuous exercise and that it can consist of activities like gardening or going for a brisk walk or swim. “Health professionals can refer patients to a variety of services such as physiotherapy, specialist exercise programs at leisure centers, or walking groups,” said Devane.

So, get off your behind and take a walk or go for a swim.

Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.