Dear friends! The Russian Ministry of Health announced the week from June 19 to 25 as the week of informing about the importance of physical activity. According to WHO, as a result of a sedentary lifestyle, about 1.9 million people die annually in the world. In Europe, the proportion of deaths due to insufficient physical activity is 5-10%. Just think about it, moderate physical activity in the amount of 2.5-5 hours per week and intense activity in the amount of 1.25-2.5 hours per week significantly reduce the risk of developing 13 types of cancer: colon, lung, esophagus, stomach, breast, uterus, kidney, myeloma, liver cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in women.
But in this article, we want to pay special attention to the role of physical activity in the process of cancer treatment and after its completion. Why it is so important for patients to whom it is shown, what it includes and how much you can do per day at different stages of treatment, we discussed with the head of the oncorehabilitation Department of the P.A. Herzen Moscow State Medical Institute – branch of the NMIC of Radiology of the Ministry of Health of Russia, Candidate of Medical Sciences Alexandra Mikhailovna Stepanova.
-Numerous studies have proven that physical activity has a significant positive effect on cancer patients. First of all, it improves the tolerability of complex treatment, helps to cope with most side effects, improves the quality of life during combined treatment and after its completion, reduces the frequency of postoperative complications and complications against the background of systemic therapy, reduces the duration of the patient’s stay in the hospital, increases muscle tone and allows you to return to a full life at an earlier date, – says the expert.
A review of more than 100 studies has shown a lower incidence of cancer recurrence and hemoblastosis and a lower incidence of the severity of side effects of treatment of ZNO in patients who maintained a sufficient level of physical activity compared to those who restricted it.
What kind of physical activity are we talking about?
-First of all, it’s walking, — explains Alexandra Mikhailovna. – This is the safest type of motor activity, both during the treatment of ZNO, and after its completion. It is walking that is among the most effective and safe cyclic exercises for people with low levels of health and concomitant diseases, which include oncopatients.
Walking is effective not only in terms of increasing the volume of motor activity, but also improving the function of breathing, musculoskeletal system and metabolism. Most drugs, especially platinum and taxane drugs, negatively affect the peripheral nervous system, causing polyneuropathy. Dosed walking in combination with coordination exercises and fine motor skills help prevent and control this complication during treatment.
Do not forget about the power load. Of course, we are not talking about large weights and exercises for strength training. These are any weights, even 100 grams. in each hand. Performing strength exercises in combination with diet correction / nutritional support helps to increase muscle mass, namely, it improves the survival rate of patients with ZNO, – says Alexandra Mikhailovna.
Physical activity is shown to absolutely ALL patients. According to the available recommendations, it should begin from the moment of diagnosis, continue immediately after surgery (from the first day), as well as against the background of systemic treatment and radiation therapy and continue for life.
Alexandra Mikhailovna says that patients are recommended to walk at a pace above average in good shoes with orthopedic insoles for 30-40 minutes 2 times a day, plus exercise therapy for the main muscle groups with small dumbbells for 15-20 minutes 1-2 times a day.
A few words about the restrictions for physical activity. If you have:
- THROMBOCYTOPENIA (less than 50 × 109/µl) – it is worth avoiding contact sports and loads that can result in injury.
- NEUTROPENIA – avoid swimming pools, gyms.
- ANEMIA (Hb less than 80 g / l) – it is worth reducing the intensity of physical activity.
- CARDIOTOXICITY – it is worth reducing the intensity of physical exertion, consulting a cardiologist to correct the volume of exercise therapy.
- PERIPHERAL POLYNEUROPATHY – the risk of falls increases, you can practice with caution.
- PALMAR-PLANTAR SYNDROME — it is worth doing sitting to limit the pressure on the feet.
- HYPOVOLEMIA ON THE BACKGROUND OF VOMITING AND DIARRHEA – it is worth suspending classes until the electrolyte balance is normalized.
Movement is life! Dear friends, take care of yourself and be healthy!
Press Service of the NMRRC of the Ministry of Health of Russia