World Cancer Day

World Cancer day is celebrated worldwide, every year on the 4th of February to raise awareness and improve education regarding cancer detection, causes, treatment and prevention methods. The global program is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

At Move Exercise Physiology we are working to #CloseTheCareGap by providing the latest research-based exercise interventions to individuals to both prevent and manage cancer.

Key Cancer Facts

  1. Every year, 8.2 million people around the world die from cancer. However, latest research has identified that adopting a healthy lifestyle can eliminate more than a third of the most common cancers.
  2. Between 5-10% of all cancers are genetic in nature and are inherited from their parents. If you have a family history of cancer please be aware of this increased risk and ensure regular check-ups are completed.
  3. The most common cancers worldwide include breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma of the skin.
  4. There has been a 33% drop in overall cancer mortality since 1991 due to the recent increases in education

Cancer signs and symptoms

Detecting cancer early is one of the most important parts of treating symptoms and saving lives. With a number of different cancers, the symptoms can vary, however, there are some key signs and symptoms that you should look out for.

These include:

  • Unusual lumps or swelling, be aware that they can often be painless
  • Persistent coughing, difficulty swallowing or breathlessness
  • Changes in bowel habits or concerns when urinating
  • Unexpected bleeding
  • Unexplained and unintentional weight loss over a short period of time
  • Increased fatigue levels or a severe lack of energy
  • Unexplained pain that comes and goes
  • Unusual breast changes in size, shape, feel or pain
  • Reduced appetite for a prolonged period of time
  • Wounds that are slow healing
  • Persistent or painful heartburn or indigestion
  • Heavy, drenching night sweats

If you have any of the signs and symptoms listed above, please seek medical advice urgently. A regular medical check-up can be vital in identifying any cancerous related symptoms early on and improving your outcome with treatment.

Our main tips on how you can reduce your cancer risk today:

Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight

Exercising and being physically active is one of the major lifestyle factors that you can control and is a significant contributor to reducing your risk of cancer and optimising your health status. The benefits of exercise includes improving fatigue, mental wellbeing, physical function and quality of life. Additionally, for those with cancer it reduces treatment-related fatigue, reduces hormone levels, boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation. Cancer patients who exercise regularly experience fewer severe side effects from treatments and also have a lower relative risk of cancer recurrence.

If the benefits of exercise could be transformed into a pill as medicine, it would be prescribed to every cancer patient worldwide!

Those diagnosed with cancer should complete individualised exercise programs tailored to there condition to maximise the benefits of exercise and counteract the negative effects of cancer. Evidence based guidelines recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise weekly, as well as 2 resistance based exercise sessions targeting major muscle groups. To ensure you are exercising safely, it is recommended to see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) that have extensive experience working with cancer patients.

Oncology Group classes

At Move Exercise Physiology our Accredited Exercise Physiologists work with a number of individuals with a variety of cancer diagnosis and can help you today. We also run multiple oncology (cancer based clients) group exercise classes where individuals with similar experiences love to attend for improving both their physical and mental wellbeing. If you want to find out more about how an AEP can help you please contact us today.

Living a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle involves a variety of different factors, however, the key areas to focus on includes eating a healthy balanced diet and reducing consumption of alcohol and smoking. Healthy eating habits include incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, healthy fats and fish.

Protect yourself from UV radiation

Another vital part of reducing your risk of developing cancer includes having a balanced exposure to sunlight. Yes, it is important to get the benefits of sunlight, however, ensure you are applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every two hours to avoid the risk of developing skin cancer.

By Brodie Nathan