Cancer, Exercise and Diving
Research now concludes that structured exercise for cancer patients is safe and linked to improvements in cancer-related side effects and quality of life.”
Lee W. Jones, PhD, Scientific Director of the Duke Center for Cancer Survivorship at Duke Cancer Institute and a leading researcher in exercise and cancer survivorship.
Exercise to Prevent Cancer – Go Diving!
In addition to staying fit for scuba diving, exercise helps prevent cancer. The American Institute of Cancer Research, (AICR) “Start Where You Are” brochure of simple steps for physical activity summarizes the benefits.
Physical activity helps lower blood pressure, increase bone density, regulate cholesterol, control blood sugar, improve mood, increase brain function and improve circulation and fitness. Because of these effects, physical activity can help lower chances of cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, dementia and arthritis.”
Maintaining a healthy body composition is key to much of the correlations between physical activity and cancer prevention. Excess body fat, contributes to high levels of hormones and inflammatory proteins, which lead to high levels of insulin and cell damage; both increase cancer risk.
Scuba divers are encouraged to maintain a healthy body weight and composition to be safer in the underwater environment. Research indicates that obese divers are nine to 10 times more likely to suffer decompression sickness, use more air than aerobically fit divers, and require more effort to move through the water, compromising performance.
Exercise During Cancer Treatment – Consult With a Physician Before Scuba Diving.
According to AICR, “research suggests that cancer patients who participate in a structured exercise program during chemotherapy (a practice commonly prescribed to heart patients) may reduce harmful effects of chemotherapy on the cardiovascular system, and therefore may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, years after treatment,”
Maintaining the health of the heart and lungs is of particular interest to divers for continued participation in the sport, especially since cardiovascular illness and heart disease are the most prevalent medical conditions reported by divers.
Other research also indicates that exercise during treatment may reduce the reoccurrence of cancer. Exercise during treatment is recommended at a low intensity, and depending on energy. It is recommended that divers consult with their physician about both exercise and diving during treatment. Timing of diving after surgery and physical energy levels required for diving are of the greatest concern.
The Rubicon Foundation plans to release the results of their Project Pink study later this year. Scuba certified breast cancer survivors provided information on their health status, diagnosis and treatment specific to diving. The study hopes to learn more about and provide information to all divers about the effects of cancer and cancer therapy on the physical and mental health of divers and diving activity.
Exercise After Cancer – Continue Diving!
Based on evidence found in Divers Alert Network (DAN) annual reports, cancer survivors who continued to scuba dive overcame, breast, prostate, head and neck cancers.
The International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Associations (IHRSA) cites studies in their online newsletter that demonstrate the benefits of exercise in managing depression in cancer survivors. IHRSA recommends “cancer survivors could benefit from regular aerobic exercise, and may see further benefits by adding personal training or group classes to their schedule.” The research reveals a dose-response correlation; the more the cancer survivor exercises the more symptoms of depression are reduced.
Exercise Reduces Depressive Symptoms Among Cancer Survivors
There are over 12 million cancer survivors in the United States, and nearly all of them experience psychological side effects as a result of their cancer diagnosis. In addition, 60% of cancer survivors experience depressive symptoms, which are associated with reduced survival rates. A recent article reviewed 40 exercise interventions involving 2,929 cancer survivors. Results showed that participants who exercised had reduced depressive symptoms compared to those who did not. A “dose-response” relationship was found, meaning that as the amount of aerobic exercise performed each week increased, depression symptoms decreased. The greatest decreases in depressive symptoms were seen in people aged 47-62 and participants who exercised with supervision. Cancer survivors could benefit from regular aerobic exercise, and may see further benefits by adding personal training or group classes to their schedule.
Brown C, Huedo-Medina T, Pescatello L, Ryan S, Pescalto S, Moker E, LaCroix J, Ferrer R, Johnson B, The efficacy of exercise in reducing depressive symptoms among cancer survivors: a meta-analysis, PLoS One. 2012, &(1): e30955.
Source of synopsis:www.healthclubs.com newsletter V.I 11, il. 2 P1, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.
Exercise During, And Following, Cancer Treatment May Prevent Heart Disease Years Later
November 4, 2011
Cancer survivors, especially those diagnosed with early-stage prostate and breast cancer, are at heightened risk of cardiovascular disease years following their diagnosis. The condition is caused by chemotherapy and other cancer therapies that can damage the cardiovascular system.
Recent research, highlighted today during a presentation at the 2011 AICR Annual Research Conference in Washington, DC, suggests that cancer patients who participate in a structured exercise program during chemotherapy (a practice commonly prescribed to heart patients) may reduce the harmful effects of chemotherapy on the cardiovascular system, and therefore may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, years after treatment.
“We are starting to learn that individuals that have completed treatments for early-stage cancers years earlier may be at higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than cancer, and moreover, may be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared with persons who have not had a history of cancer,” said Lee W. Jones, PhD, Scientific Director of the Duke Center for Cancer Survivorship at Duke Cancer Institute and a leading researcher in exercise and cancer survivorship.
Cancer therapies can damage survivors’ lungs, heart, blood vessels and muscles.
“Exercise rehabilitation following a diagnosis of cancer has, until recently, received scant attention, yet fitness is among one of the strongest indicators of cardiovascular health.” Read More
Guidelines Address Diet, Exercise, and Weight Control for Cancer Survivors
Article date: April 26, 2012
By Stacy Simon
New guidelines from the American Cancer Society recommend that people living with cancer maintain a healthy weight, get enough exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Increasingly, scientific evidence shows that healthy nutrition and physical activity behavior after a diagnosis can lower the chances of the cancer coming back, and can improve the chances of disease-free survival. The updated Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors was published early online today in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Project Pink Tank
The goal of Project Pink Tank is to improve our understanding of diver health among breast cancer survivors. The knowledge gained will be used to create a platform for future research and dive medicine consensus conferences.
We are currently working through the data analysis from our questionnaire on diver health among breast cancer survivors.
Understanding the Physical Activity-Cancer Connection
Physical activity is an essential part of good health. People who are active over a long period of time are at lower risk for many types of cancer. For cancer survivors, studies suggest that exercise is beneficial in improving quality of life and long-term prospects for survival.
Quality of life benefits:
- Improves fitness and balance
- Enhances self-esteem
- May reduce fatigue
- Improves mood
- Reduces anxiety
- Enhances long-term prospects for survival and reduces risk for cancer recurrence
- Improves functioning of the immune system
- Reduces stress
- Helps to achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Decreases percentage of body fat
Breast Cancer, Cancer & Surgery
How long do I have to wait after breast cancer surgery before I can return to diving?
Tumors in the breasts are not uncommon, especially after age 30. Tumors may be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). Approximately one in nine women will develop breast cancer. Early detection can be made with regular, manual self-examinations of the breasts, but not all tumors can be detected in this manner. Mammography (X-ray of the breast) can detect tumors that manual examination cannot.
The American Cancer Society recommends the following:
1. Women 20 years of age and older should perform breast self-examination every month.
2. Women ages 20-39 should have a physical examination of the breast every three years, performed by a healthcare professional such as a physician, physician assistant, nurse or nurse practitioner.
3. Women 40 and older should have a physical examination of the breast every year, performed by a healthcare professional such as a physician, physician assistant, nurse or nurse practitioner.
4. Women 40 and older should have a mammogram every year.
Tumors are often removed surgically and treatment of malignant tumors may involve surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy – or a combination of two or three of these procedures. Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy can have toxic effects on the lung, surrounding tissue and body cells that have a rapid growth cycle such as blood cells.
Diving Medicine Articles
BREAST CANCER SURVEY
Diving After Breast Cancer Here’s A Look At DAN’s Survey Results By Laurie Gowen
“There was never a sea so blue or an ocean filled with so many things as my first dive after my diagnosis. I am now cancer-free, but one’s perspective on things once taken for granted drastically changes.”
One of every three cancers diagnosed for women is breast cancer. According to breastcancer.org, statistics show it is on the rise.
I experienced the enjoyment of the sport with my husband, who encouraged me throughout my treatment to be the best I could be.”
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
AICR is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $95 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.
Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell division, leading to growth of abnormal tissue. It is believed that cancers arise from both genetic and environmental factors that lead to aberrant growth regulation of a stem cell population, or by the dedifferentiation of more mature cell types.
There are over 200 different types of cancer and you can develop cancer in any organ. There are over 60 different organs in the body where you can get a cancer.
ZeroCancer.com slogan is to fight cancer through knowledge. Everybody should have basic knowledge about cancer, so in case that it happens to you or to a person close to you, you know what to do and what to expect. Prevention and early detection before it spreading, are very important and it is crucial to know all the symptoms and signs, which treatments are available and what new research is learning us. Every day specialists solve more mysteries in the fight with cancer and are getting one step closer to defeating this disease. At zerocancer.com you can find articles that will teach you the basics about each type of cancer. Articles are usually divided in several parts. General information, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, so in about two pages you can find almost everything you need to know. This way you will learn about the causes of cancer and how to prevent it, also you will learn about the symptoms and how you can be able to detect it early.
You can also find at zerocancer.com a news box that contains latest news from cancer world about new treatments, statistics and much more.
Cancer Survivors Network (ACS)
Topic: Scuba diving with one Lung
Topic: Scuba Diving Post-Mastectomies
Topic: Scuba Diving Post Breast Cancer
Topic: Scuba Diving Risk?
E-MED (UK) Private Practice
Topic: Prostate Cancer and Diving