New Analysis: Lifting Weights Helps Survivors

Dumbbell-SP005620_7_300wWhen you read about the health benefits of exercise for cancer survivors it’s common to lump all exercise together. After all, there’s no bad form of exercise.

A new review of the research now suggests that lifting weights, sit-ups and other forms of resistance exercises can help survivors both during and after treatment gain muscle strength, reduce body fat, and improve fatigue.

The improved effects seen with arm strength and body fat were most pronounced in survivors who engaged in low to moderate intensity exercises compared to those of higher intensity.

Doing resistance exercises at least two times per week led to survivors able to increase the amount of weight lifted, on average, 34 pounds (15.5 kilograms) for legs and 16 pounds (7.3 kilograms) for arms.

The study was published in the early online issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Continue reading


Cancer Survivors and an Aging Population

More people are living with cancer – and living longer – than ever before. There are currently nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and this number is expected to increase to nearly 18 million by 2022, less than 10 years from now. Is our healthcare system ready for this?young people with children

A new study by Janet de Moor from NCI’s Office of Cancer Survivorship and colleagues addresses the challenges that will be facing our nation over the coming years. The study was highlighted in this week’s issue of Cancer Research Update.

According to the authors, by the year 2020 two-thirds of all cancer survivors will be aged 65 or over. This population will be facing the challenges of aging as well as the challenges of being cancer survivors. The needs of cancer survivors vary widely according to their initial diagnosis, treatments they received, and their other health concerns and issues. The authors note that compared to people who have never had cancer, cancer survivors tend to have poorer health and functioning overall. Continue reading


Study: Do Ice Cream and Cheese Up Risk for Breast Cancer Mortality?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image27116234Dairy foods like ice cream, regular cheese and whole milk are high in fat and saturated fat, linked to an increased risk for heart disease. There is little evidence that total dietary fat affects cancer risk, but it is less clear whether specific high fat foods or types of fats affect cancer risk.

Now, a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that, for breast cancer survivors, consuming high fat dairy foods may be related to an increased risk of breast cancer mortality.

The researchers followed 1893 women diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer who were enrolled in the Life After Cancer Epidemiology (LACE) study. The participants completed food frequency questionnaires, including how much dairy they consumed, when they entered the study and in 6 year follow-up surveys. In this study median follow-up was 11.8 years. Continue reading