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ELIZABETH AU ONCOLOGY

Cancer Care and Treatment

Exercise

A common question patients ask after they have been diagnosed with cancer is what lifestyle change they need. One of the simplest is exercise. In two reported studies of women after they had been diagnosed with stage 1 to stage 3 breast or colon cancer exercising at least 9 MET/week reduced the risk of cancer recurrence by about 50% compared to women who exercised less than 3 MET/week. And best of all, exercise is free!

A recent pooled analysis of 1.4 million individuals reported that leisure-time activity lowered the risk of cancer by 7%. In 10 out of 13 cancers, this relationship was independent of the individual's body mass index (BMI). Cancers that were less likely with activity included colorectal cancer, lung, kidney, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, myeloma and myeloid leukemia, and head and neck cancers.

To calculate if you are exercising enough:

Multiply the MET value by the number of hours spent doing that activity. Add up all values for the week. Sufficient exercise is at least 9 or more MET per week.

MET Value
Walking normal pace (includes golf) 3
Walking briskly 4
Aerobics, Calisthenics 6.5
Jogging less than 16km/h 7
Bicycling, tennis, swimming 7
Squash 9
Running faster than 16km/h 12