To Your Health
November, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 11)
Exercise Stalls Cancer Growth ... and the Immune System Is Involved
By Editorial Staff
We know exercise can help prevent various forms of cancer – or at least lower your risk dramatically; but do you know exercise can also help stall cancer growth if you're afflicted with the dreaded "C" word? Let's look at the latest research for evidence – including how the immune system is involved.
In a study published in eLife, researchers found that exercising slowed both cancer growth and mortality (death) rates compared to not exercising. In addition, they discovered that "cytotoxic T cells" – specialized white blood cells – are critical in the fight against cancer. When researchers injected antibodies that removed these cells, the positive effect of exercise was negated. What's more, when these immune system cells were transferred from exercisers to non-exercisers, their survival prospects improved compared to vice versa – exercisers getting T cells from non-exercisers.
The bottom line? Exercise doesn't just help prevent cancer; it can also help you fight it ... and a healthy, robust immune system may play a role as well. Since it's well-established that consistent physical activity boosts immunity, it all makes perfect sense.