Just this weekend, a French study showed that patients with pancreatic cancer benefit from physical activity. Clinical oncology, i.e. research into cancer, is increasingly concentrating on so-called “supportive” care. However, it remains difficult to assess the benefit. Fortunately, the French APACaP study, funded by patients’ families, now proves that maintaining physical activity has clear health benefits for patients with advanced cancer. Amazing right?
This study looked at more than 300 patients with advanced cancer. All were pancreatic tumors. Because we know that his prognosis does not leave much hope. This weekend, the results of the French APACaP study were presented during the World Congress of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. The study concludes that adding physical activity to standard care for this type of cancer is beneficial for patients.
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
As part of the care pathway for patients with long term disease (ALD), physicians are now prescribing physical activity appropriate to pathology, physical ability and medical risk. This emerges from the Health System Modernization Act of 26 January 2016.
Indeed, people suffering from cancer have less and less cardiovascular and muscular capacity. However, if this leads to the abandonment of physical activity, the patient’s situation worsens. Because the latter becomes less autonomous. He has a worse quality of life. He also loses self-esteem and feels much more exhausted, both physically and mentally.
This isn’t the first time a study has highlighted the link between physical activity and quality of life. The National Cancer Institute’s 2017 report, “Benefits of physical activity during and after cancer,” recommends incorporating physical activity into the spectrum of oncology care.
Cancer: multiple health benefits
It is therefore the physicians who are careful to encourage their patients not to give up physical exercise. Patients must therefore fight against the sedentary lifestyle. Upstream health experts therefore explain what the positive effects on the patient’s life are.
The beneficial effects of physical activity are manifold. This prevents or corrects physical deconditioning. Physical exercise also helps maintain body composition. It also reduces fatigue due to cancer. And it generally improves the quality of life. The tolerability of the treatments and their medium and long-term effects also improve. It also extends life expectancy and reduces the risk of recurrence.
The earlier patients resort to physical activity as part of their care, the more patients will benefit from it. Even low-level exercise does much better than a sedentary lifestyle. We know that physical exercise has many benefits. And not just to cure cancer. For this reason, it is necessary to practice physical activity at any age and in any physical condition.
Physical activity recommended at all ages
In particular, a 2013 study showed that walking can increase HDL cholesterol levels in the body. This requires you to run 1 hour a day, 5 days a week for 24 weeks. In 2015, another study confirmed this study. In fact, after regular high-intensity strength training three times a week for 10 weeks, HDL cholesterol levels rise significantly.
Regular exercise has other benefits as well. This allows you to maintain a correct weight. In addition, it also helps improve your mental health. This naturally strengthens muscles and bones. This has the ability to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.
Of course you have to train regularly. And it’s not just walking. We can turn to other physical activities. Fast walking has many health benefits. It’s easier than walking. In addition, the energy consumption is the same. Moderate walking and vigorous running reduce the risk of a range of heart problems by the same amount.