The physical and mental toll a cancer diagnosis takes on the patient and his or her loved ones isn’t a mystery. While avoiding every single type of cancer isn’t possible through voluntary means, a new study finds exercise in youthful years could help the fight against this class of disease.
The research comes from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China and published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association of Cancer Research. Sarah Nechuta, Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine in the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, aimed to find out the modifiable aspects to a young woman’s life impacting future physical health.
“Our results support the importance of promoting exercise participation in adolescence to reduce mortality in later life and highlight the critical need for the initiation of disease prevention early in life,” Dr. Nechuta said, which includes cancer, cardiovascular disease and other physical illnesses.
She and her colleagues studied subjects from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, which includes 74,941 Chinese women between the ages of 40 and 70. Interviews were continuously maintained with participants to find patterns between exercise and disease frequency. Results found more positive consequences for women who regularly exercised compared to those more sedentary in lifestyle. Regular physical activity lowered cancer risk and overall mortality due to many factors.
A cancer diagnosis is detrimental to mental health, with feelings of hopelessness, depression and anxiety very common upon learning the news.
The Mayo Clinic recommends individuals refrain from using tobacco, as there are various links between its use and various cancers in the cervix, lung, bladder and other parts of the body. If currently using, one should stop now and they will see a benefit to overall health in the short and long-run.
Fitness and healthy weight will also reduce cancer risk. There are many misconceptions concerning physical health and seeing a doctor for deciding on a nutritious and balanced diet is important for not taking a lifestyle change too far.
Frequent, unprotected exposure to the sun is infamous for increasing skin cancer risk. Stay out of the sun or use adequate sun screen to stay safe. Sharing needles, refraining from practicing protected sex and skipping immunizations are also risky behaviors leading to cancer or other deadly illnesses.
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is difficult and often requires a mental health professional for learning coping strategies. Sovereign Health Group is an excellent resource for finding the right therapist. Call us at any time to get started.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group Writer