Fighting Cancer with Exercise: March 9, 2011

Some people love it. Some people hate it. "Exercise is important in general," says Dr. Alan Brown, a radiation oncologist on the Lee Memorial Health System medical staff.

He suggests people aim for more than 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity five times per week. "There have been studies that have come out recently that show that exercise actually decreases the risk of developing certain cancers, particularly lung, prostate, endometrial, colon."

Cancer survivors should also exercise to maintain their health. "There is some data to suggest that patients who are sedentary after treatment do have a higher risk of having a cancer reoccurrence compared to those patients that exercise," adds Dr. Brown.

Even those undergoing cancer treatments can benefit from some activity. "Some patients may not feel like exercise, but doing something, even if it's going out for a walk, 15-20 minutes a day is better than doing nothing at all."

Dr. Brown encourages everyone, no matter what their physical health, to talk to their primary care physician about the best exercises for their individual conditions.