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Exercise Slows Down Tumor Development

More and more research over the past decade has stressed the importance of exercise for our health, but it turns out it is also important in slowing down tumor development. Yes - it actually reduces the growth of cancer.

During a presentation at a 2022 medical conference in Spain, researcher Adrián Castillo García stated that a prescription for exercise (physical activity) should be part of cancer treatment.

Physical exercise also works to make cancer treatments more effective. For example, physical exercise (physical activity), in combination with chemotherapy, reduces the progression of cancer and on tumor volume (doesn't grow as much). Garcia thought that resistance exercise, such as cycling, was especially effective.

Other studies also find that exercise slows down tumor growth (e.g., colon cancer growth in persons with colorectal cancer is reduced by high intensity interval training), and lowers the risk of developing bowel cancer.

Bottom line: View exercise as anti-cancer.

From Medscape: Nutrients and Exercise Affect Tumor Development

Researchers discussed an update on the latest evidence regarding the cancer-lifestyle link as part of the Precision Health session: Oncology, held during the 7th International Congress of the Spanish Society of Precision Health (SESAP). The role that certain nutrients can have on tumor development was analyzed, along with the most recent data justifying the idea that the prescription of physical exercise should not be optional, but rather integrated into oncological treatment.

Exercise as Oncological Therapy

In the same session, Adrián Castillo García, graduate in physical activity and sports sciences and a researcher at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute (IIBB) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), reviewed the latest studies that showed evidence of the importance of physical exercise during cancer treatment and its potential role in modulating the tumor microenvironment and immune function. 

In his presentation "Cancer and Physical Exercise: A Battle Between High Performance Cells," the specialist commented on the connecting points between the physiology of exercise and the physiopathology of cancer. He believes that this is an emerging field, starting more than 10 years ago and in which there are still many things to discover. "We should widen this field of study to provide clinical reasons why physical exercise would have to be an essential treatment in oncological patients," Castillo stated.

"Cancer is a disease with a clear metabolic component, and the tumor microenvironment determines in part the development and malignancy of the disease," he continued. ....

"In this sense and according to preclinical study data, physical exercise may improve the efficacy of these therapies. Concretely, it has been shown to have the ability to modulate the tumor environment, decreasing hypoxia and reducing the bioavailability of plasma lactate, a metabolite present in this microenvironment at elevated levels. This modulating effect translates into an improvement in the efficacy of chemotherapy and other oncological treatments," he added.

Castillo highlighted the results of one of the more recent studies on this topic, which demonstrated that physical exercise, in combination with chemotherapy, reduces progression and tumor volume. The results position exercise as an important optimizing element of the main treatments that are applied to these patients. "Additionally, the only studies conducted on humans (concretely, in the case of pancreatic cancer) demonstrate that exercise remodels the vascular structure, even when it is recommended (in small doses) to be conducted at the home of the patient."

Regarding the most adequate type of exercise to achieve this effect, in the opinion of Castillo, the best mitochondria that are "washers" of lactate are those associated with resistance exercise, such as cycling.

Exercise lowers your risk of getting bowel cancer and slows the growth f tumors.

From Science Daily: Exercise shown to release protein reducing bowel cancer risk

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