Getting adequate physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the chance of recurrence of many cancers and increase the likelihood of disease-free survival after a diagnosis, say new guidelines from the American Cancer Society. The guidelines encourage survivors to aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, and to include strength training exercises at least 2 days per week.
The society has issued previous reports outlining the evidence on the effect of nutrition and physical activity on cancer recurrence and survival. However, this is the first time the evidence has been strong enough to release formal guidelines for survivorship. For this report, a group of experts in nutrition, physical activity, and cancer survivorship evaluated the scientific evidence and best clinical practices related to optimal nutrition and physical activity after the diagnosis of cancer. Among the review's conclusions:
The recommendations also include specific guidance for people diagnosed with breast, colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, lung, prostate, head and neck, and hematologic cancers. It also includes a section with answers to common questions about alcohol, organic foods, sugar, supplements, and several other areas of interest.
Free, full text of Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors is available online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.