New research shows exercise should be prescribed as medicine for those with cancer


HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – A new initiative called Moving Through Cancer, led by a professor at Penn State College of Medicine, aims to make sure all people living with cancer are advised to exercise.

“What we have is evidence that tells us specifically that exercise is helpful to prevent seven different types of common cancers,” said Kathryn Schmitz, professor of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine.

Those are breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers.

“As well as for improving outcomes in those who are already diagnosed, and we also know that exercise will prevent recurrence and improve survival for three most common cancers, breast, colon, and prostate cancer,” said Schmitz.

Schmitz is part of an international team of researchers who worked on three papers released Wednesday on the benefits of exercise on cancer prevention, improving your outcome if you’re diagnosed, and the importance of making exercise a standard of care prescribed by doctors.

“We end up with a very similar prescription for all of the outcomes, and that is three times a week, 30 minutes of aerobic activity, and/or twice a week, strength training activity,” said Schmitz.

Schmitz’s research shows just how beneficial it is.

“Between a 30 and 70 percent reduction of risk for onset of seven common cancers. We have a substantive 30 to 40 percent reduction in the symptoms,” said Schmitz.

The Moving Through Cancer website has an exercise program registry that can help patients find programs near them.

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