Many cancer survivors and astronauts have something in common: their bodies can experience years of aging after only a few month of treatment – or space flight. Exercise can help, says Jessica Scott, PhD, a Principal Investigator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Before focusing on cancer patients, Scott worked at the Johnson Space Center, helping astronauts keep their heart and muscles healthy. Here, she talks about the emerging field of exercise-oncology and how applying the research related to astronauts can help survivors prevent or slow accelerated aging.
I was thrilled and honored to be invited to the launch event of AICR/WCRF Third Expert Report, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Cancer: a Global Perspective. The report was globally launched across continents on May 24, 2018. Referring to the release of the report as a “launch” really was fitting: Think of how a ship launches out to sea, bearing important cargo as it sends ripples in the water that spread far and wide. Here is a sampling of discussions, that I have had with colleagues, friends, and family.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a traumatic event. Indeed, some estimates say that 1 in 4 women diagnosed with breast cancer suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of their diagnosis. The number may be even higher for diagnoses with other types of cancer. Despite the acknowledged trauma of a diagnosis, most if not all cancer survivor will have been told, at some point or other, to “stay positive”! Such advice is certainly well-intentioned. There is a strong and enduring belief that maintaining a positive outlook actually improves patient outcomes. However, the scientific evidence is now very clear; attitude and personality traits do not significantly impact recurrence or survival rates.