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Walk a mile to beat cancer - call

Friday August 29th, 2014

Most of the UK's long-term cancer patients are inactive - even though keeping fit can help stave off the disease, campaigners warn today.

Barely 20% of those living with cancer comply with recommended levels of fitness, according to charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Just walking a mile a day - a 20 minute walk - can make a big difference to people with two of the most common cancers, it says.

Women with breast cancer reduce the risk of dying by 40% by undertaking moderate exercise while men with prostate cancer cut it by 30%, according to the analysis.

It can also reduce the impact of debilitating side-effects of treatment, the charity says.

It warns that out of two million people living with cancer just 400,000 are active at recommended levels.

Sandra Sayce, 51, from Middlesex, joined a walking group in 2011 after years of treatment for melanoma.

She said: “Since then I’ve gone from strength, and I’ve started to feel more happy and less tired. I really do think that making the decision to go on that first walk was crucial to getting myself to the position I’m in now.”

Charity chief executive Ciarán Devane said: “For cancer patients, physical activity can not only reduce the risk of dying or the cancer coming back, but it can also help to manage some of the devastating side effects of treatment such as swelling, fatigue or anxiety.

“We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to what is a very simple and obvious solution. Physical activity is a wonder drug and health care professionals must prescribe physical activity, such as walking, as a standard part of cancer recovery.”

The charity is backing the Walking for Health projects.

Tags: Cancer | Fitness | Menís Health | UK News | Womenís Health & Gynaecology

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