Benefits of Sport To Fight Cancer

Benefits of Sport To Fight Cancer

Playing sports as soon as cancer is diagnosed helps to better withstand the side effects of treatments and increase their effects.

It is known that sports practice reduces the risk of developing all types of cancer (1). What is less known is that it also improves the disease and increases its chances of survival while reducing the risk of recurrence.

How sport affects cancer

Exercise improves many biological and psychological parameters in cancer patients. As a result, it significantly improves the quality of life (1), in particular by:

  • decreasing the general and local inflammation,
  • helping to reduce the size of tumors,
  • promoting the production of endorphins and neurotransmitters of “pleasure” that reduce the feeling of fatigue and increase that of general well-being,
  • improving the cardio-respiratory capacities (and thus by combating the cardiovascular toxicity of the treatments),
  • to maintain muscle mass,
  • by reducing the general stress but by increasing that of the cancer cells (which weakens them).

In practice

It is better to combine endurance and strength training to have optimal effects on the disease, according to studies.

However, walking, running or swimming can already be enough to do good to the body. Sweeter activities like yoga also have good results (3).



(1)      Moore SC &al : Association of leisure-time physical activity with risk of 26 types of cancer in 1,44 millions adults. JAMA internalmedicine, 2016.

(2)     Pernille H &al : Molecular mechanisms linking to cancer prevention and treatment. Cell metabolism, 2018.

(3)      Sandja J & al : Effects of yoga interventions on fatigue in cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Explore, 2013.

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