The health benefits of regular exercise are well known. Not only can it help to control weight and reduce the risk of heart diseases, it is also great for the mind, boosting self-esteem, mood and helping to improve sleep.
Recent research suggests that regular physical activity may also increase survival for mesothelioma patients.
The study, conducted by Dr Junga Lee, looked at 11 other studies done over a 19-year period with more than 6million participants with lung cancer.
He looked at the cardiorespiratory fitness (CF) of patients, this is how effectively the heart and lungs are able to supply the body with oxygen whilst someone is doing physical activity. He also considered walking speed and level of physical activity.
Activity correlates with survival
It was found that the patients who did more than two and a half hours of physical activity a week lived longer than those who were less active. He concluded, “keeping active should be recommended to increase lung cancer patient survivorship.”
Although Dr Lee looked at lung cancer patients, rather than specifically pleural mesothelioma patients, it is felt that the conclusion should be relevant to both.
Other factors at play
Whilst the results look positive for a link between activity and survival, there may be other factors at play. The less active people may be unable to exercise as a result of their cancer’s progression and this could be the reason for their lower survival rate.
No matter your diagnosis, whether you are battling cancer or not, it is always a good idea to try and stay active, do some light exercise and keep yourself moving.
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Lee, Junga, “Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Physical Activity, Walking Speed, Lack of Participation in Leisure Activities, and Lung Cancer Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies”, June 24, 2020, Cancer Nursing, https://journals.lww.com/cancernursingonline/Abstract/9000/Cardiorespiratory_Fitness,_Physical_Activity,.98936.aspx