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  • Report on Cancer Survivors Highlights Role of Physical Activity in Regaining, Improving Health

    Physical activity and other healthy behaviors can hasten recovery from the immediate side effects of cancer treatment, prevent long-term effects, and may reduce the risk of recurrence and increase sur­vival, says a first-ever report by the American Cancer Society (ACS) that tracks the growing population of cancer survivors in the United States.

    Developed in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, the report estimates that there are 13.7 million cancer survivors alive in the United States today. The number will grow to almost 18 million by 2022.

    The 3 most common cancers among male survivors are prostate cancer (43%), colon and rectal cancer (9%), and melanoma skin cancer (7%). The 3 most common cancers among female survivors are breast cancer (41%), uterine cancer (8%), and colon and rectal cancer (8%). Those percentages are expected to stay roughly the same through 2022.

    The report also finds that 45% of cancer survivors are 70 years old or older, and only 5% are younger than 40. The median age of patients at the time of cancer diagnosis is 66.

    ACS released the report, Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures, and an accompanying journal article in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians last week.   

    As reported May 2 in News Now, ACS issued its first formal guidelines in April on cancer survivorship. The guidelines stress the importance of physical activity in reducing the chance of recurrence of many cancers and increasing the likelihood of disease-free survival after a diagnosis.  


    • As a cancer survivor of stage II C ovarian cancer for 10 years now and a physical therapist, I have been advocating the importance of exercise during and post treatment since my diagnosis. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer organizations are not educating women with this diagnosis on the importance of exercise.

      Posted by monica kolzet on 6/22/2012 3:33 PM

    • I am a physical therapist too. I am also a cancer survivor of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) of 7 years (56 yo now). I exercised before my diagnosis but have increased my exercise since and my oncologist is amazed at how healthy and how well my ongoing testing is doing. I have also had the opportunity as a PT to interact with clients with CLL or cancer in general.

      Posted by Randy Nelson on 6/25/2012 10:36 AM

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