(HealthDay News) — Postoperative physical activity is associated with improved outcomes in patients with stage III colon cancer, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Researchers assessed whether postoperative physical activity prevents or delays cancer recurrence in patients with stage III colon cancer. The analysis included 1696 patients with surgically resected stage III colon cancer followed for a median of 5.9 years.
The risk of disease recurrence peaked between 1 year and 2 years postoperatively and declined gradually to year 5.
“The risk of recurrence in physically active patients never exceeded that of physically inactive patients during follow-up, suggesting that physical activity prevents—as opposed to delays—cancer recurrence in some patients,” the researchers wrote.
During the first postoperative year, there was a significant disease-free survival benefit associated with physical activity (hazard ratio, 0.68). During the first 3 postoperative years, there was a significant overall survival benefit associated with physical activity (hazard ratio, 0.32).
“Postoperative physical activity is associated with improved disease-free survival by lowering the recurrence rate within the first year of treatment, which translates into an overall survival benefit,” the researchers wrote.
Two researchers disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.