Brisk walking could cut risk of dying from cancer: study

Brisk walking might cut the risk of dying from cancer, even in more advanced stages of the disease, research suggests. Two new studies presented at the world's biggest cancer conference had shown that exercise could be a powerful tool, helping slow down the disease and cut the risk of death.

According to the research, brisk walking for only 25 minutes a day was enough to drive improvements and slow down the disease.

A healthy diet with five portions a day of fruit and vegetables and eating whole grains has also been shown to help.

The research, which involved patients with bowel and breast cancer, was presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago.

The first study involved 337 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer who had had surgery to remove tumours. The patients were split into two groups.

One of the groups was told to follow an exercise programme of 180 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise, while the other group received standard care.

Over a typical eight years follow-up, the results showed that exercise had ''clear potential to influence survival''.

Patients in the exercise group were around half as likely to die as those in the usual care group and less likely to have their disease progress, the study, which had not yet been published in a journal, suggested.

According to Sandra Haye, senior research fellow at the Queensland University of Technology, who conducted the study, most women used walking as their most common form of exercise, with some adding resistance training - such as weights or cross trainer - into the mix.

Beneficial effect of exercise was also seen in other cancers such as bowel and prostate cancer, she added.

''Engaging in some activity or exercise is better than none, and doing more is generally better than less,'' she said, The Independent reported.