Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Colorectal Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Exercise May Cut Risk of Colon Cancer's Return

By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Medical News

May 17, 2005 (Orlando, Fla.) -- For the second time in as many days, new research suggests that lifestyle changes can fend off new tumors in people who survive cancer the first time around.

In the latest study, people treated for colon cancer were about half as likely to die or have their tumors return if they participated in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity as those who rarely exercised.

Yesterday, other researchers reported that postmenopausal breast cancer survivors who cut down on fats in their diet also cut the chance their cancer would come back.

"Finally, we have a hint that lifestyle changes can make a difference for people with cancer," says Douglas W. Blayney, MD, medical director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

After completing treatment, "almost every cancer patient asks if there is something they can do to prevent a recurrence," says Blayney, who was not involved with either study, "But up to now, we've had no evidence that diet or exercise help."

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Physical Activity Benefits Colon Cancer Patients

The study included 832 people who were still alive one year after undergoing surgery followed by chemotherapy to treat colon cancer.

"Right after you have chemo and part of your colon taken out, physical activity is a little hard, so we looked at them a year later, when they're presumably more stable," says researcher Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Participants were asked what type of exercise they did, how often they exercised, and how hard they exercised.

After nearly two years, those who exercised the equivalent of "moderate-paced" walking an hour a day, six days a week were 49% less likely to have a recurrence or die, compared with those who rarely exercised, he says.

A moderate pace is about 2-3 miles an hour, Meyerhardt tells WebMD.

Other types of physical activity count, too. "The same levels of health benefit can be attained by jogging three times a week or playing tennis three or four times a week, for example," he says.

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
The right diagnosis is the most important factor.
man with a doctor
Our health check will steer you in the right direction.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
bladder cancer x-ray
Do you know the warning signs?
 
bread
ARTICLE
Colon vs Rectal Cancer
VIDEO
 
New Colorectal Treatments
VIDEO
can lack of sleep affect your immune system
FEATURE
 
Cancer Facts Quiz
QUIZ
Virtual Colonoscopy
VIDEO
 
Picture of the Colon
ANATOMY
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW