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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Penn State: Exercise Plays Key Role in Cancer Prevention

A new initiative called “Moving Through Cancer — led by Dr. Kathryn Schmitz, professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, and an international team of health practitioners and researchers — is shedding light on the role exercise plays in preventing seven commons types of cancer.

In the research, A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Dr. Schmitz and her fellow researchers outline new exercise recommendations for people living with and beyond cancer.

According to the findings, exercise is important for cancer prevention and can lower the risk of developing colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus and stomach cancers. Exercise during and after cancer treatment can help improve fatigue, anxiety, depression, physical function, and quality of life, and can also help improve survival after a breast, colon or prostate cancer diagnosis.

“With more than 43 million cancer survivors worldwide, we have a growing need to address the unique health issues facing people living with and beyond cancer and better understand how exercise may help prevent and control cancer,” said Dr. Schmitz, who is also a member of the Penn State Cancer Institute.

Depending on the patient’s activity levels and abilities, the researchers generally recommend 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise three times a week and 20 to 30 minutes of resistance exercise twice a week. But, Dr. Schmitz said health care professionals can also customize exercise prescriptions to individual patients.

According to Dr. Schmitz, the recommendations will help with one of the premier goals of Moving Through Cancer — raising public awareness about the benefits of exercise for people living with and beyond cancer by 2029.

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