A new study done in mice, finds that when combined with chemotherapy, exercise slowed tumor growth and increased tumor cell death by 150% more than non-exercising mice on chemotherapy.
The researchers discovered that exercise increased the amount of blood flow and oxygenation to the tumors by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels in those tissues.
Amazingly, they also discovered that exercise-alone slowed tumor growth rates the same amount as chemotherapy-alone, but the combination of chemotherapy with exercise slowed tumor growth the most.
These results are interesting to me as a radiation oncologist, as we know that tumors that are better oxygenated are more sensitive to the anticancer effects of radiation therapy.
So, I’d encourage patients getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy to start exercising.
The bottomline: if you can exercise safely…do it! Read more about starting an exercise routine in a series of articles we wrote, here.