Physical Activity and Cancer Survivorship
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Recent evidence suggests a protective effect of physical activity (PA) against cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate. Plausible mechanisms include the prevention of weight gain or obesity, and thus the modulation of sex hormones or growth factors. In addition, it has been shown that PA affects many physiologic systems and may thus modify the carcinogenic process through many routes and at many stages. Research has focused on PA and exercise as a protective factor in the development of cancer. However, PA and exercise interventions that enhance the health and quality of life of those already diagnosed with cancer is an emerging research area. The growing population of cancer survivors, and the documented adverse physiologic and psychosocial sequelae of cancer and its treatment, present an opportunity to examine the potential impact of PA on prevention or control of late and long-term sequelae of survivorship, co-morbidities, and cancer recurrence.