Just exercise can reduce the number of cancer cells in cancer patients

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In all anti-cancer and anti-cancer science articles, we can see the  importance of exercise. It can not only promote a healthy lifestyle, but also change the biological mechanism of cancer cells.

According to a pilot study by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,  exercise is associated with a reduction in circulating tumor cells (CTC) in the blood of a small group of patients after colon cancer treatment.

It has long been thought that cancer metastasis is caused by cell division. These cells detach from the primary tumor and spread to other parts of the body with the bloodstream.

As we all know, surgery can  sometimes remove tumor lesions, but it cannot eliminate cancer cells in other parts of the body. In patients with stage III colon cancer, one of these circulating tumor cells left in the body after surgery and chemotherapy can lead to an increased risk of cancer recurrence. Six times.

To test whether exercise affected the presence of CTC in the blood, the study included 23 patients with stage I-III colon cancer who had completed surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy.

The patients were randomly divided into three groups; moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week, exercise intensity higher for 300 minutes per week, and a non-exercise control group.

After six months, blood samples were taken from all three groups. The researchers found that in both exercise groups, the number of CTCs in the bloodstream had decreased significantly, while no significant changes in CTCs were observed in the control group.

In addition, it is worth noting that the body mass index (BMI), insulin levels and obesity-related protein sICAM-1 of the exercise group all decreased. In a prospective cohort study, all three factors were related to the survival and recurrence of colon cancer patients. Therefore, the researchers speculate that exercise may deprive the host tumor microenvironment of growth factors available, resulting in a reduction in the number of CTCs.

Of course, exercise must be moderate, and what amount is more suitable for cancer patients, or a reasonable plan needs to be made based on the specific conditions of the patient.

Recommended exercise for cancer patients

The “Survival Guidelines for Cancer Survivors” issued by the American College of Sports Medicine recommends:

For different cancer patients, strength and flexibility training should be adjusted differently, for example:

  1. Fistula patients after colorectal cancer surgery should pay attention to avoid excessive abdominal pressure to avoid the formation of fistula hernia;
  2. Patients with breast cancer surgery should pay attention to step by step, especially when they have lymphedema of upper limbs;
  3. There is still insufficient evidence for the safety and benefits of lower limb strength training for patients with pelvic tumors and lymphedema of the lower limbs;
  4. After the operation, care should be taken to prevent the incision from cracking;
  5. Those with central venous catheters should pay attention to the amplitude of limb activity.

For cancer patients, before carrying out planned exercise, some special evaluations should be carried out, including:

  1. Regardless of how long the anticancer treatment is performed, it is recommended to evaluate peripheral neuropathy and musculoskeletal lesions;
  2. If hormone therapy is available, it is recommended to assess the risk of fracture;
  3. Evaluate bone metastases to avoid movements that may cause fractures;
  4. People with heart disease are known to evaluate the safety of exercise;
  5. Morbidly obese people need additional safety assessment;
  6. Before participating in upper limb exercise exercises, breast cancer patients should undergo an upper arm / shoulder joint evaluation;
  7. Patients with prostate cancer should be evaluated for muscle strength and muscular atrophy;
  8. Patients with colorectal cancer fistula should be evaluated for infection prevention and pollution;
  9. For patients with gynecological tumors, before aerobic exercise or strength training, it is recommended to evaluate the lymphedema of the lower extremities.

Recommended exercise method for cancer patients

In sports for cancer patients, the first thing worth recommending is walking. It has a small amount of exercise and is simple and easy to exercise. It is not restricted by conditions such as time, place, space, etc. Except for bedridden patients, all cancer patients can choose this type of exercise. Walking can be done at any time regardless of the season. In the spring, you can enjoy the grassland, the small river in summer, the lotus lake in autumn, and the pine forest in winter. Walking is not limited by space. Whether it is a slow stroll on the country side roads or a walk on the city avenue, that vast space, green environment, and fresh air will refresh people. Relaxed. Cancer patients can also choose sports such as jogging, brisk walking, Tai Chi, freestyle gymnastics, swimming, Qigong, and cycling.

Exercise intensity

Cancer patients should not participate in vigorous exercise. In principle, they should choose low intensity, long duration, and sweat a little after exercise. It must be done step by step and persevered. Exercise intensity is more suitable for cancer patients with a heart rate range of 50% to 70% of the maximum heart rate, ie (220-age) × 50 to 70%. For example, a 60-year-old patient’s heart rate range (220-60) x 50-70% = 80-112 beats / min during exercise. Before and after exercise, 5 to 10 minutes of preparatory activities and relaxation activities should be carried out to adapt the change in heart rate to changes in exercise intensity to avoid uncomfortable reactions after exercise. It is not advisable to participate in too intense exercise, so as to avoid excessive fatigue and reduce the autoimmune function.

Amount of exercise in cancer patients

The patient’s start of exercise may include preparation activities before exercise and recovery time after exercise. After reaching the exercise intensity, you should keep exercising for 30 minutes. The best time for a cancer patient to exercise during the day is generally in the morning or afternoon. It is not suitable to exercise after a meal or when hungry. To avoid discomfort. The amount of exercise should be small, the exercise time should not be too long, 15 to 20 minutes each time, gradually increase the amount of exercise to 30 to 40 minutes each time according to the condition and physical strength.

Movement frequency

At least 3 to 4 times a week, every other day. Those with strong physique who do not fatigue after exercise can insist on exercising every day.

Sports environment and weather

The natural environment is an important factor that affects the effect of exercise. It should be carried out in parks, forests, grasslands, fields, watersides and other places with fresh air and quiet environment. Cancer patients are the best exercise in the forest.

Attention should be paid to seasonal changes; in the case of excessively cold or overheated seasons, sudden changes in wind and rain, etc., the amount of exercise should be appropriately reduced.

Suitable for sports

1. Suitable for all kinds of cancer patients except bedridden.

2. Patients with stable postoperative conditions.

3. Patients whose radiotherapy and chemotherapy are over and their condition is stable.

4. Patients who have no sequelae and no metastatic disease after tumor treatment can participate in various fitness exercises suitable for their physical fitness and people of the same age.

5. Patients with various comorbidities should choose the appropriate plan according to their own condition.

Sports taboo crowd

1. Postoperatively.

2. Combine various acute infections.

3. The body temperature rises and the condition relapses.

4. Some parts have bleeding tendency, you should stop exercising to avo
id accidents.

5. Patients with obvious cachexia can not tolerate exercise.

Tips for exercise in cancer patients

(1) Cancer survivors with low immunity should avoid exercising in public sports venues before the blood cell count returns to normal levels.

(2) For cancer survivors who have received radiation therapy, they should avoid long-term exercise in swimming pools containing chloride disinfectants.

(3) It is not advisable to participate in excessively intense sports, so as to avoid excessive fatigue and reduce autoimmunity.

(4) Keep your breathing smooth and stop exercising immediately if you feel unwell.

(5) If you experience an increase in body temperature, a relapse of your condition, and bleeding tendencies in some parts, you should stop exercising to avoid accidents.

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