Cancer Therapy Support – Can physical activity and nutrition positively influence cancer therapy?

According to the WHO, the most important preventive measures to prevent a tumor disease next to non-smoking and low alcohol consumption is healthy nutrition, regular physical activity and the prevention of obesity.


It is scientifically undisputed that the risk of cancer development through physical activity and nutrition can be influenced at the molecular level.

This in particular due to a strengthened immune defense (IL-6, CRP, cytokines etc.), a lower hormone level (estrogen, insulin, IGF-1 etc.), improved blood circulation and oxidative stress-balance in our body and because of the process of a more efficient DNA repair mechanism.

Those conducting a more physically active lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of disease in many different types of cancer compared to inactive people.


Physical activity concomitant with chemotherapy has a positive influence on pain perception and symptoms, fatigue, therapy side effects (nausea, vomiting) as well as the dose of chemotherapy and leads after treatment to a faster resumption of daily work.

Mortality rate

Physical activity can also reduce the recurrence of cancer and the mortality rate after an event. Graph 3 illustrates this with the example of breast cancer, which is by far the most common cancer in our latitudes. Movement can achieve an absolute risk reduction of 6% for mortality after 10 years, and significantly reduce the rate of recurrence.


Moore, S. C., Lee, I.-M., Weiderpass, E., Campbell, P. T., Sampson, J. N., Kitahara, C. M., … Patel, A. V. (2016). Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity With Risk of 26 Types of Cancer in 1.44 Million Adults. JAMA Internal Medicine176(6), 816.

Furmaniak, A. C., Menig, M., & Markes, M. H. (2016). Exercise for women receiving adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Holmes, M. D. (2005). Physical Activity and Survival After Breast Cancer Diagnosis. JAMA, 293(20), 2479.


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