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Exercise is Powerful Cancer Medicine

Published on February 19, 2014

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A study of 45 peer-reviewed articles published from January 1950 to August 2011 shows that exercisers are less likely to die of their cancers than non-exercisers. In addition, observational studies strongly showed that exercise is associated with reduced death from breast and colon cancers specifically.[1] Those who exercised were also less likely to die from other diseases such as heart attacks.

A second study, from the Netherlands, showed that cancer survivors who exercised had far more energy, were far more active, and were less tired than survivors who did not exercise. Exercising simply gives them more energy.[2]

Cardiorespiratory fitness (the capacity of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system to transport oxygen to the working skeletal muscles) is dependent on age, gender genetics and of course varies based on the amount of exercise an individual performs on a regular basis.

Training of the cardiorespiratory system in not often thought of as medicine and I am willing to bet very few doctors have written prescriptions for it. Maybe we all should because exercise is the most overlooked component influencing our health. 

So why is it not the primary prescription / advice given to patients who need it most?  Perhaps it is too simple, too obvious or too cost effective. Exercise therapy is estimated by the World Health Organization to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer by 20–40% and to decrease the risk of cancer’s return by 26–40%. That means at least one in four breast cancer patients who would otherwise die, could survive.

Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, urges careful attention to the “three-legged stool” of excess weight, poor diet and inadequate physical activity, which together are linked to between a quarter to a third of cancer cases.

You have the power to open the door for a better health and understanding of your body! Here is the Key

In the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention a study looked at physical activity levels in 631 women, ages 18-64, after treatment for breast cancer.  In the first 2 years after diagnosis, 39.5% exercised.  A fair start. However, regular exercise fell steadily until by 10 years only one in five exercised at all and only 8% got the recommended minimum of physical activity over the entire period. Looking at this another way nine out of ten women reject a treatment modality which has a 25% chance of saving them.[3]

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For patients who have gone through breast or colon cancer treatment, regular exercise has been found to reduce recurrence of the disease by up to 50 %t. A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management; found that patients who exercised regularly before their diagnosis were more likely to keep up their routines afterwards. Being thinner helps beat breast cancer: Risks of disease returning rises in step with weight.
According to Dr. Lee Jones, fitness levels before surgery will predict your risk of surgical complications as well as following surgery. Now we have data suggesting that your fitness levels pre-surgery may also predict how long lung patients may live beyond traditional markers of longevity.”

As the lead investigator of a study published in the journal Cancer in 2007, Jones showed that four to six weeks of aerobic exercise, consisting of stationary cycling five times a week, before surgery improved fitness levels by 15 to 22 percent.

In addition to improving cardiorespiratory fitness in lung cancer patients, research shows that exercise training is also associated with several positive patient-reported outcomes including improvements in fatigue, depression, sleep, quality of life, and breathlessness. And these benefits may extend across the board, Jones says, regardless of disease stage, treatment, or whether patients have received surgery or not.

A Serious Case for Exercise

Researchers found patients took exercise advice most seriously when it came directly from their oncologists, but none of those doctor’s studied had discussed it with them. Exercise is one of the cheapest, most effective methods we have for preventing and treating breast cancer (and cancer more generally).

Exercise is grossly under-prescribed and that is sad because having doctors write a prescription for exercise is one of the best ways to get people to break a sweat! Patients are not being given concrete advice about exercise to help them maintain functionality and to improve their outcomes.

In the past doctors advised cancer patients to rest and reduce physical activity. But according to Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, "Cancer patients would be shocked if they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health, in some cases reducing their chances of having to go through the grueling ordeal of treatment all over again."

The British organization Macmillan Cancer Support, which produced the above video, argues that exercise should be part of standard cancer care. It recommends that all patients getting cancer treatments be told to engage in moderate-intensity exercise for two and a half hours every week, stating that the advice to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view.

Not surprisingly few oncologists ever tell their patients to engage in exercise and none recommends doing so with oxygen. Sometimes it is not just lions and tigers and bears we need to run from. If we want to outlive our cancer, we need to run for our lives by exercising. Cancer patients should without question combine high levels of oxygen intake while they bicycle or run on a treadmill for maximum anti-cancer effect.

Recently, the American College of Sports Medicine released a report that advised cancer patients to avoid inactivity. The organization further stated that physical exercise is safe during and after most types of cancer treatments. Recent research indicates that while regular exercise will not cure cancer, it can help you recover faster from the disease. Add oxygen and then its more than a help it’s one of the most powerful cancer treatments imaginable and if one combines that with low carbohydrate nutrition and intense re-mineralization and natural forms of chemotherapy one has the formula for winning one’s personal war on cancer.
The National Cancer Institute advises patients with cancer to only engage in moderate exercise. Moderate exercise includes any form of physical activity that does not strain your body. Examples of moderate exercises that are safe for cancer patients include walking, swimming, bicycling and mowing the lawn. The American Cancer Association issues guidelines for people with cancer with some cautions and highlights the differences between older recommendations for cancer patients and what our research is now showing.

A study published in June 2013 in the medical journal Cancer found that women who are active two hours daily, five days a week, see their risk of developing breast cancer fall by about 30 per cent. (Note that this is activity – walking, grocery shopping, yard work – not exercise in the gym.)

Earlier research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that women who increased their activity levels after being treated for breast cancer saw their risk of recurrence drop by half. That study focused on exercise, but showed that a mere 30 minutes daily of moderate activity (such as brisk walking or biking) provided dramatic benefits. It also showed that less than one-third of breast-cancer survivors were even minimally active.

Research done by Christine Friedenreich, an epidemiologist at the University of Calgary, way back in the 1990s showed clearly that women who exercise routinely during their lifetime cut their breast-cancer risk by at least one-third; those who did not smoke or drink alcohol in addition to being physically active saw their risk plummet by 70 per cent, showing the cumulative impact of reducing risk factors.

The benefits of exercise are not limited to prevention alone. Exercise can also help you recuperate faster and help prevent recurrence of cancer. Despite all of the evidence and common sense about exercise studies show that many patients are reluctant to make efforts to keep fit and consider their daily activities sufficient exercise.

The minimum one should exercise is at least 3 times a week, or more, for a minimum of half an hour at a time, ideally in the fresh air. The simplest thing to do is to walk. If you have the energy, walk briskly for half an hour at a time. If you can do more, try alternating brisk walking with running, then walk, then run. However, be careful never to overdo it. Never push or exhaust yourself. Work within your limits, however modest these may be.

The main thing is to choose a form of exercise you like and can do easily, and at home if necessary. Try putting on music and dancing; rebounding, (mini-trampolines); swimming; tennis; golf. Start slowly, and build up. If a person has cancer and is so far down the hole, where exercise seems like climbing a mountain, then regaining one’s footing and health and cancer-free existence is going to depend not only on exercise but on a mainline cancer treatment—which is what Anti-Inflammatory Oxygen Therapy is.

Working out on a stationary bicycle or treadmill, while breathing concentrated oxygen is perfect for controlling and disciplining your efforts while receiving the levels of oxygen necessary to threaten all the cancer cells in your body.

The key is to find what you are able to do physically and build on it day by day. I suggest riding the bicycle slowly for a few moments, then resting, and then doing that repeatedly while breathing the oxygen until you can ride, walk or run continuously for fifteen minutes.

Maybe do three or four short sessions per day to start out. Instead of weeks before solid results show up it will only be days with the power that oxygen will give to the whole process.  Riding or walking with the standing exercise equipment necessary to do this gives us instrumentation to measure our oxygen content, heart rate, distance traveled, calories expending and speed at which we are moving. Measuring our progress helps motivate us to further achievement.

Cancer patients should set short- and long-term fitness goals and to embrace exercise rehabilitation as a journey, not a destination. The more compromised your health and fitness the more seriously one needs to take this advice. Patients with significantly compromised physical functioning and with severely compromised quality of life need to start with minimal amounts of exercise and plan on it being long-term and for the rest of their life. Truly even the most ill have a chance to amaze themselves with what they can achieve with exercise and the great assistance that oxygen lends to the process.  

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The only thing missing in this picture and video (It will help you choose your type of exercise machine) is oxygen masks strapped on to these peoples’ faces leading via large diameter hoses to large oxygen reservoirs full of purified oxygen. Then we are looking at the ultimate medical healing system available anywhere on earth.

Anti-Inflammatory Oxygen Therapy

A tool of training the cardiorespiratory system utilized by athletes and those seeking to regain their health is Oxygen Multistep Therapy (OMST).  The primary objective for most when using OMST is to overcome oxygen deficiency as a result of either intense training regiments or to recover from health disorders.  The key discovery during the course of long standing research in cancer therapy using OMST discovered an unexpected switching mechanism of the microcirculation of the entire organism.

This switching mechanism is interpreted as a re-enlargement of the capillary narrowed by oxygen deficiency (old age, disease, distress). The re-enlargement appears after increased oxygen uptake of the blood and improved oxygen utilization of human tissue over a certain period. The OMST provides a measurable and long lasting increase of the energy status of individuals from varying health backgrounds.

Anti-Inflammatory Oxygen Therapy reaches a new level (beyond OMST and EWOT) where one can combine much higher levels of oxygen with ever intensifying exercise to open micro circulation and allow responsive healing. Exercise with OMST should be a key component in successful cancer prevention and treatment.

[1] J Natl Cancer Inst, published online May 8, 2012

[2] PLoS One, published online May 2, 2012

[3] Long-term physical activity trends in breast cancer survivors.
Mason CAlfano CM. et al; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Jun;22(6):1153-61. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0141. Epub 2013 Apr 10; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23576689

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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