Cancer survivors told 'exercise reduces the risk of reoccurrence'

12 October 2012

Cancer survivors can boost their immune systems and reduce their risk of suffering from the disease again by undertaking exercise after their treatment.

A study carried out at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that cancer survivors who exercised for several weeks after completing chemotherapy built up a better defence in their bodies against the life-threatening conditions.

The research, results of which are being presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting this weekend, involved the analysis of 16 people who had successfully overcome cancer.

Scientists focussed on the activity of T cells – a form of immune cell that protects the body against cancer cells but are known to become senescent following chemotherapy - before and after an exercise course.

Laura Bilek, who led the research, pointed out: "What we're suggesting is that with exercise, you might be getting rid of T cells that aren't helpful and making room for T cells that might be helpful."

Posted by Edward Bartel


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