Considering all types of cancer, 4 out of 10 cases are preventable, that is, they cease to exist when a healthy lifestyle which privileges, for example, not smoke, not consume alcoholic beveragesadopt a diet balanced and practice physical activity.
Based on the premise of these data, made official by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Brazilian Society of Oncological Surgery (SBCO) and the Companhia Athletica academies network come together in a national awareness campaign about the importance of prevention in the fight against cancer and to improve quality of life and not just for patients undergoing treatment.
In the past, patients undergoing cancer treatment were advised to remain at rest and to reduce physical activities. But in the last 20 years, experts from all over the world dedicate time and a lot of study to affirm that yes, physical exercise helps in the prevention of the disease.
According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA) physical activity promotes the balance of hormone levels, reduces gastrointestinal transit time, strengthens the body’s defenses and helps maintain adequate body weight. With this, we can say that a healthy lifestyle does contribute to preventing some types of cancer such as, for example: cancer of the large intestine (colon), endometrium (body of the uterus) and breast.
Physical activity, inserted in a context of adopting a healthy lifestyle, increases cure rates and disease-related survival. “What shows that being active is not only safe and possible during treatment, but can improve physical performance and quality of life for the patient. One of the great benefits of exercise during cancer treatment is a significant reduction in side effects. And not just for the body. Exercise also helps the mind”, says Héber Salvador, cancer surgeon and president of SBCO.
Thinking precisely of disseminating this knowledge, the aforementioned parties created this campaign, which aims to mobilize the 16 units of the academy throughout Brazil, impacting approximately 35 thousand students. In addition to addressing the impact of physical activity on cancer prevention, the proposal is to demystify the issue with patients diagnosed with cancer, reinforcing that they can be healthy and active during treatment.
“Through these actions, we join forces to reinforce the importance of exercise, something that can positively impact people’s lives. The sooner adherence to a healthy life occurs, the greater the benefits for the individual”, emphasizes Richard Bilton, president of Cia Athletica.
The idea of this merger is precisely to show the great population the importance of having physical exercise as an ally in the prevention and treatment of cancer. A simple idea to strengthen the basic premise that physical activities help to ward off the problem and also survive it.
“It is also the responsibility of the Brazilian Society of Oncological Surgery and its professionals, whenever possible, to create situations in which important issues are in evidence. In this way, more people will be impacted and can reflect on quality of life and how to create a healthy routine. More and more data show that the number of health problems is increasing due to people’s lifestyle. We want to impact and contribute to the improvement of these habits by encouraging the practice of physical exercise, preventive exams and an improvement in the type of diet”, emphasizes Héber Salvador.
According to Cacá Ferreira, corporate technical manager of the Companhia Athletica group, exercise as a habit capable of contributing to cancer is taken very seriously during our service, as we already have a program called prevention, where we follow internationally recognized guidelines for more than 10 pathologies. treatable also with the help of exercise, including cancer. Helping people to be physically fit and making friends has always been our mission and now with the SBCO partnership we will act even more safely to take care of people undergoing cancer treatment, enabling them to feel better than when they entered. at the gym.
Studies show an important reduction in mortality and cancer recurrence in physically active people. A review published in March 2022 by the American Cancer Society – https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21719 – points out that high-intensity physical activity, when compared to low-intensity physical activity, reduces by 14% and 18% the risk of breast cancer mortality and all-cause mortality, respectively.
“The work shows that physical activity reduced the risk of all-cause mortality, regardless of BMI. It is worth mentioning that all physical activity is beneficial, including recreational ones, for example, walking and running, etc., both to reduce mortality and to reduce the risk of recurrence (return of the disease), points out Héber Salvador.
“With this, individuals who are facing cancer, through an active life, manage to control the disease and the impacts of the treatment, with the maintenance of functional capacity, something that greatly improves the Quality of Life through the maintenance of muscle mass, the reduction of Cardiac risk, the increase in mental well-being with the balance of the hormonal and physiological part, generating more independence for these people”, points out Luiz Otávio Almeida.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN EACH PHASE OF ONCOLOGICAL TREATMENT
In pre-treatment, for example, which ranges from diagnosis to the beginning of treatment, the ideal is to seek exercise to prepare the body for the entire process that will come. As for the treatment itself, the focus is on alleviating symptoms and possible side effects. Physical activity is also essential in the post-treatment period, when the patient is discharged and begins to be followed up for at least five years, until the absence of a recurrence of the disease is declared.
“The benefits that training brings are indisputable. We see patients with a better post-surgical recovery when they have exercise in their routine and this will be fundamental in the whole process. But remember, to talk and create the best routine with the professional who accompanies you. Only he and the multidisciplinary team will be able to define the best routine in each case. This partnership with Cia Athletica comes precisely to show society on a large scale that having a healthy life is part of prevention”, explains the creator of the project Dr. Bruno Braga Azevedo – CRM/PR 20472 / RQE 1012 – cancer surgeon and member of SBCO.