Monday, March 29, 2010

Cancer Prevention and Walking

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.6 lbs. ( a typical week-end increase, we should all watch more carefully our week-end consumption of unfriendly foods and beverages); Coinage = $1.81, 46 pennies (one wheat), 4 nickels, 4 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 1; Ground scores = 6; Best coinage finds = three different curb quarters, what fun.

Feature Entry: Cancer Prevention and Walking

The MoneyWalker is a two-time cancer survivor, one non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the other Prostate. Friends were amazed how quickly I recovered from both treatment bouts. Truth is, I was in great physical shape previous to both cancers. Seven years out on the former and two years on the latter, I am reported to be cancer free.

In the last post concerning the culture of walking and Anthony Trollope, the writing master talked about walking up to an old deserted Irish house that had been victimized by “premature aging.” What an apt metaphor for those of us that have been are now currently ravaged by cancer.

Can walking help prevent the occurrence of cancer? With my own negative case studies aside, in a pilot study, researchers at the University of Bristol of the United Kingdom have reported that moderate exercise such as walking, if conducted three or more times a week, may reduce cancer risk for several prevalent forms of the disease. In 37 out of 51 subjects, regular exercise cut the risk of colon cancer by 40 to 50 per cent; 30 percent reduction in breast cancer risk was reported; and 40% for lung cancer. Concerning breast cancer, the benefits are greater for post-menopausal women. Also there was no reported benefit of moderate exercise to reduce the risk of rectal cancer.

The researchers also found that exercise can help people recover from cancer and reduce the fatigue that accompanies many of the cancer treatments. Exercise also was found to improve the mood of recovering cancer victims. Although these are very preliminary data and much more research is necessary, their results are promising.

Biologists and chemists tell us that without premature decay, all humans should live to be 120 years. I don’t know if I want to live that long, at my current age, the MoneyWalker would welcome another 30 + healthy years on this fair earth, that is as long as Ms. MoneyWalker was along to share the benefits.



  1. It seems our lives have taken the same paths many times. Last year at this same time my husband was recovering from high dose radiation therapy for prostate cancer. I blogged about it a few times without being specific. His excellent physical condition contributed to his fairly speedy recovery.

    My father also had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 14 years ago. However, due to some Parkinson's dementia it was not correctly diagnosed until the final stages. At the same time my mother was being treated with chemo for breast cancer. She is still alive and kicking.

    Cancer had always been "someone else's" disease before my father's death. I always worried about neurological issues, and in fact, my paternal family has been studied by the U of U genetics department. Now I find that the Big C is also in both parternal and maternal sides.

    The sun is my biggest problem. Summer is my favorite time and by the end of August my skin always has a good tan. Now I'm finding lots and lots of spots popping up everywhere. Sunscreen is applied twice daily to my face and I'm finally resigned to wearing a hat (ugh) at the pool.

    I'm glad to read of your recoveries. Have a cup of blueberries to celebrate! As you probably already know they are full of antioxidants!

  2. We love blueberries and I wasn't aware of their antioxidants. As for the sun, it is one of my worst enemies, but a strong ally of my dermatologist. Your term, "someone else's disease" rang true when diagnosed with non-Hodgkins. Glad to hear about your mom and husbands' recoveries.