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Fitness 'boosts cancer survival chances'

31 March 2015 09:11

A new study has highlighted the cancer-beating benefits of older age fitness

A new study has highlighted the cancer-beating benefits of older age fitness

Older men have been told that regular exercise can help them improve their chances of surviving cancer.

A new report showed that men over 65 years-old could increase their chances of surviving the disease's prostate, bowel or lung versions by nearly a third.

The US study also found that regular exercise lowered the danger of older men being detected with bowel and lung cancer. This did not, however, apply to prostate cancer.

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The new study monitored the cardio-respiratory fitness (or CRF) of 14,000 American males aged 65 or over for a period of six and a half years, by studying their general health and treadmill tests.

In this time, some 1,310 of the volunteers were detected as having prostate cancer. A further 200 had lung cancer and 181 bowel cancer.

The study linked high physical activity among over-65s with a reduced lung cancer risk of 55%, and a reduced bowel cancer risk of 44%, in contrast to those with lower CRF results.

There was no such link, however, between older-life prostate cancer and CRF.

For males who suffered from cancer, high older-life CRF was linked to a better chance of surviving the disease by 32%. In addition, it resulted in a 68% increased chance of surviving cardiovascular disease.

Vermont University's Susan Lakoski, who headed the research, said that the study suggests that CRF analysis could play a role in preventing health problems in later life.

Dr Lakoski said she believed that hers was the first research to show that CRF can forecast site-specific cancer prevalence.

She said she now wants similar research to be undertaken on women.

The report was published in the JAMA Oncology journal.