Diet and exercise can benefit patients with cancer through side effect management and improved outcomes. CURE provides an overview of the most-read diet and exercise stories of 2023.
Integrating a well-balanced diet and regular exercise into the lives of individuals facing a cancer diagnosis has garnered increasing attention for its potential therapeutic benefits.
Research consistently highlights the positive impact of these lifestyle interventions on various aspects of cancer care, from bolstering immune function and mitigating treatment side effects to improving overall quality of life. In this context, a closer examination of the symbiotic relationship between diet and exercise reveals a multifaceted approach that not only supports physical well-being but also contributes to the comprehensive management of cancer and its associated challenges.
CURE looked back at the influential and most-read stories on diet and exercise throughout the year, from a low-carb, plat-rich diet benefiting patients with breast cancer to exercise to strengthen immune systems in those with myeloma.
Adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet predominantly composed of plant-based foods has been linked to enhanced overall survival in women diagnosed with breast cancer, as indicated by the results of a recent study. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that such dietary patterns do not exhibit a significant association with improved breast cancer-specific survival. Investigations have concluded that the presence of plant-rich low-carb diets is not correlated with better survival outcomes specific to breast cancer. Despite this, it is established that sustaining this type of dietary approach contributes positively to overall longevity.
Recent study findings suggest that lymphoma survivors can adopt a more healthful diet, incorporating increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fatty acids. This dietary shift is not only feasible for this group but also holds the potential to alleviate fatigue and enhance overall quality of life.
For individuals grappling with a cancer diagnosis, adhering to mainstream diets might not be the most suitable approach. Margaret Martin, a registered dietitian and nutrition educator at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), emphasizes the crucial need for patients to understand the optimal dietary choices that support their health. This awareness is particularly vital, given the prevalence of fad diets proliferating online and on social media platforms, which may not align with the specific nutritional needs of individuals facing a cancer diagnosis.
Recent research conducted at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center reveals that individuals diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a condition often associated with a compromised immune system, can benefit from daily exercise. The findings underscore the positive impact of regular physical activity in supporting and potentially strengthening the immune response in patients dealing with this particular form of cancer.
A study published in the journal JAMA Network Open suggests that exercise holds promise in alleviating symptoms associated with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) for individuals undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. CIPN is a prevalent side effect marked by numbness, pain, and/or tingling in the hands and feet, and the research indicates that engaging in regular physical activity may offer tangible benefits for patients experiencing these symptoms.
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