Advocating physical activity for the enhancement of cancer prevention and treatment

Joziasse, Scott. 2017. “Advocating physical activity for the enhancement of cancer prevention and treatment” Meeting of the Minds Graduate Student Journal 1 (March). doi:10.5281/zenodo.437143.

Keywords: Cancer, Activity, Fitness, Treatment



The term ‘Cancer’ encompasses a large group of related disease processes that affect the healthy replication of cells (Dishman et al., 2004). Worldwide, cancers of the lung and airways alone were the fifth highest cause of mortality in 2015 (WHO, 2015). The same cancers were the fourth leading cause of mortality in high- income economy countries (WHO, 2015). While some cancers arise from non- epithelial cells, and are more attributable to pre-disposition and heredity, these cases form the minority of reported cancer incidence (Smith et al., 2016). The majority of cancers occur in epithelial tissues, which separate body cavities from the outside environment, and have a large number of modifiable lifestyle and environmental risk factors (Smith et al., 2016). There is a growing body of evidence linking physical activity and fitness with improved functional outcomes in cancer patients (Giovannucci et al., 2012). This improvement may be two fold. First, where activity and fitness have a direct improvement on risk factors for the development of certain cancers, such as diabetes. Secondly, it may also improve health and quality of life indices during cancer treatment (Giovannucci et al., 2012).