Increased cancer survival can be achieved through diet and exercise according to a major study from the American Cancer Society. Since many people with cancer now address these two complementary therapies, this research also shows claims by charities such as Cancer Research UK that increases in cancer survival are ‘because of new and better drugs’ to be at best exaggerated and even false.
The American Cancer Society produced a booklet in 2012 entitled ‘Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors’. The contents of the booklet were based on past studies but there were still concerns. This research was an attempt to see if the guidelines did actually make a difference!
The study followed almost 1000 colorectal cancer patients for more than 7 years. All were Stage 3 and had had surgery and chemotherapy.
And the results, from the ACS study(1) presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology showed survival extension and ‘cure’ way beyond that provided by chemotherapy and even the new breed of ‘better’ drugs, belittling claims frequently made by Pharmaceutical companies.
Indeed, colorectal cancer patients who improve their diet and exercise regimes most closely with the guidelines had 31% less recurrence and showed a 42 per cent reduced risk of death across the seven years than those who did not make the changes.
Realising the enormity of the results, the researchers were quick to point out that ‘This does not mean cancer patients should give up on the drug treatments simply for a healthier life style of exercise and nutrition’.
Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist added, “In a speech recently, I had a room full of oncologists and I asked if any one of them knew of a drug that could produce 31% less recurrence and 42% less death. There was silence. Importantly, in the UK, CANCERactive has much the same dietary (the Rainbow Diet) and Exercise guidelines”.
Ref (1): Van Blarigan E, Fuchs CS, Niedzwiecki D, et al.