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Exercise may reduce severity of cancer complications

2022 Apr 04, 15:23,
Representative Image Photo: NepalNews

Researchers have identified yet another benefit of keeping up the exercise routine. A recent study has found that exercising prior to developing cancer was associated with slower tumor growth and helped reduce the effects of a cancer complication known as wasting syndrome or cachexia.

The study was published in the journal, 'Experimental Biology'.

Cachexia is a metabolic wasting disorder that affects up to 80 per cent of patients with advanced cancer and is associated with about a third of all deaths from cancer.

People with cachexia experience severe progressive muscle wasting, a decline in heart structure and function, and overall poorer quality of life.

"Most exercise, especially aerobic exercise is easily accessible and affordable," said Louisa Tichy, a graduate student in Traci Parry's lab at the University of North Carolina at Greenboro.

"Therefore, engaging in consistent aerobic exercise such as running is a cost-effective way to reduce the risk of cancer and cancer complications," he added.

Previous research has shown that exercise could have anti-inflammatory effects and might positively impact cancer cachexia by slowing its development and preserving cardiac structure and function. However, very few studies have focused on preconditioning.

"Our preclinical study indicated that preconditioning -- or exercise prior to tumor-bearing -- appears to play an important cardioprotective role during cancer cachexia by preserving cardiac structure and function," said Tichy.

"It also helped stunt tumor growth, even when animals did not exercise during the tumor-bearing period," he added.

For the new study, the researchers studied mice that either exercised on a treadmill for eight weeks or did not perform any exercise. After the eight weeks, the researchers induced cancer in some of the exercised mice and some sedentary mice while keeping some mice from both groups cancer-free to act as controls.

They found that mice with cancer and a sedentary lifestyle had poorer heart function -- as measured with echocardiography -- than the mice that exercised prior to cancer induction. Also, mice in the exercised group had a smaller tumor volume and a 60 per cent smaller tumor mass than mice in the sedentary group.

"This data is crucial in identifying the significance of exercise and the best timing of exercise as a protective and preventative measure against the detrimental effects of cancer cachexia," said Tichy


exercise routine Exercise Cachexia Deaths Aerobics cancer complications Tumor cancer-free
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