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May 14, 2019 | 2 minute read

Weaponizing Exercise to Beat Cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is pushing for exercise and physical activity to be key components of cancer prevention, patient care and survivorship.

Integrating exercise across the cancer continuum is an urgent priority for scientists from across the world, convening at AICR’s conference at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, May 15 – 17, 2019. The latest developments in exercise, lifestyle and oncology research demand that integrating physical activity becomes standard practice in cancer prevention and care.

“Physical activity is such an important aspect of overall health and we really are on the cusp of weaponizing it against cancer. However, one size does not fit all so we rely on research to inform how it can be deployed for maximum benefit,” says Dr. Nigel Brockton, Vice President of Research at AICR.

In only the last few years, major developments in exercise and lifestyle in oncology research have converged on cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship.

The challege now is to understand how to deploy exercise more effectively by individualizing exercise plans for patients. Prescribing how much exercise is optimal for people, tailored to the patient’s mobility, activity levels, specific type of cancer and other medical conditions is also a key research target.

The conference will address how patients can mitigate the adverse effects of cancer treatment and reduce risk of recurrence through exercise interventions. Experts will dig into the details of how to implement what we already know about lifestyle and exercise in clinical practice and discuss how we support Americans to move more and to eat better.

“The attendees at this conference are the best in this field of lifestyle and oncology research” says Dr. Brockton, explaining the goal of the conference. “We now need to translate all the available evidence into clinical and community practice. We have to implement the research at the patient level. There is the potential to prescribe precision doses of activity to optimally support cancer treatment, and improve quality of life and long-term survival.”

AICR is the leading authority on diet, obesity, physical activity and cancer. AICR’s ten Cancer Prevention Recommendations outline a package of behaviors that will lower cancer risk and improve outcomes after a cancer diagnosis.

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