Research has shown that exercise may help to build up the immune system of cancer patients just days after having their stomach tumors removed, which may help them to prolong life and prevent the cancer from spreading.
In a study, researchers looked at 35 stomach cancer patients who had surgery to remove their tumors. Two days after surgery, 17 patients participated in a fitness program that included simple exercises for three days a week. When the patients fully recovered from surgery, they worked out on stationary bicycles for five days a week. Researchers found that the patients who exercised two days after surgery had more immune cells than patients who didn’t exercise, and the exercise group continued to show significantly stronger immune function two weeks after surgery.
Researchers believe that an impaired immune function may allow cancer to grow in the body, but exercise may be a way to boost immune cells, keep cancer from spreading and help patients live longer.