Health

Cancer Survival and Lifestyle

Would a cancer diagnosis motivate you to change your lifestyle? The answer for most people is apparently no. A major Canadian study published in the journal Cancer shows that most cancer survivors are just as overweight and inactive as everyone else.

The evidence is mounting that the heavier and less active a patient is, the greater the likelihood of the cancer recurring and the lower the odds of survival. And recent studies show a breast or colorectal cancer survivor who does the equivalent of walking three to five hours per week cuts her risk of dying from cancer by half.

The fact that there is so much to gain makes these findings especially troubling. Fewer than 22 per cent of those studied are physically active enough to avoid that increased risk of the disease returning. More than 18 per cent are obese, and another 34 per cent are overweight.

The big exception is men who survive prostate cancer. They are far more active than similar men without cancer.  The bottom line, if ever there was a reason to get up off the couch, this is it.

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