Exercise Kills Cancer With Adrenaline?!

Group doing stretching exercises in back training class in a fit

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Why Does This Happen?

While everyone knows that exercise in general is good for building strength and maintaining health, scientists wanted to know why exercise seems to have such a strong effect on the likelihood of preventing and recovering from cancer. One idea that has been put forward is the role that adrenaline appears to play in this process.

A study performed on mice with cancerous tumors showed that the mice who were made to exercise experienced a reduction in tumor growth of 50 percent versus the control group. Researchers suspected that this drastic change might be linked the release of adrenaline that occurs during strenuous physical activity (this happens in humans, too). A release of adrenaline can actually bolster the immune system by helping guide Natural Killer (NK) Cells to the location of cancerous growths in the body.

Natural killer cells are a special type of white blood cells that play a key role in attacking and killing tumors. In aforementioned study, the researchers injected adrenaline into mice who were already afflicted with tumors. The results were that increased adrenaline did indeed cause the natural killer cells to circulate better and attack and the tumors.

To confirm that adrenaline — whether injected or released via exercise — was indeed improving the mouse’s ability to fight off tumors, researchers tested whether or not exercise or adrenaline injections had any effect on special mice that had been bred by researchers to lack natural killer cells.

The results confirmed their suspicions: In the specially bred mice with no natural killer cells, neither exercise nor adrenaline injections had any effect of tumor growth. But in the mice that did have NK cells, the adrenaline helped guide the cancer-fighters right to the site of the tumor.

 

Rethinking Cancer Treatment and Physical Activity

In the past, most doctors recommended patients get as much rest as possible while undergoing cancer treatment. But in light of this new evidence, the medical establishment is beginning to change their tune when it comes to physical activity. Both Johns Hopkins and Macmillan Cancer Support now recommend that cancer patients get 2.5 hours of exercise per week while undergoing treatment.

More good news: Those who exercise have a much lower chance of their cancer coming back after recovery. A study on colon and breast cancer patients found that those who exercised regularly had 50 percent lower chance of cancer recurrence versus participants who did not exercise.

 

READ ALSO: Does Vitamin D Treat Cancer? Video

 

If you’re currently undergoing cancer treatment, don’t just lay around! Talk to your doctor about beginning an exercise program, or continue exercising if you already do. The evidence is overwhelming that it can improve the odds of survival.

References:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.cancer.org

www.nccn.org

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