Cancer patients encouraged 'take up exercise to reduce risk of depression'

29 October 2012

People who are battling cancer could reduce their risk of suffering depression due to the disease by taking part in regular bouts of exercise.

This is the main message which has came out of new research funded by Macmillan, which focussed on an exercise programme undertaken by a number of cancer patients previously.

According to the study, women who had taken part in the physical activity sessions during their treatment for breast cancer five years ago now averaged three hours twenty minutes more exercise a week than a control group who did not participate in the programme.

Furthermore, those who were more physically active experienced lower levels of depression and an increased quality of life when compared to those who opted to be less active during their cancer treatment.

Dr Anna Campbell, a lecturer in clinical exercise science at the University of Dundee who helped with the research, commented: "This is the first study to follow cancer patients five years after a randomised controlled trial to determine if there are any lasting benefits of the exercise intervention.

"The results were much more positive than we had expected – with evidence of lasting benefits of increased positive mood and more active daily living."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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