Physical exercise can help patients deal with gastrointestinal cancer therapy

Physical exercise such as walking or jogging has been shown to help patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer cope with the side effects of chemotherapy.

A joint initiative of the Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt with the Gastrointestinal Centre of Agaplesion Markus Hospital in Frankfurt, shows that patients with an advanced gastrointestinal tumor can profit from physical exercise therapy.

The study used participants who exercised at a pace which they considered to be “slightly strenuous” for three times a week for 50 minutes or five times a week for 30 minutes.

Using this regime, it was shown that complementary exercise therapy proved valuable despite the need for occasional breaks by several patients.

Physical exercise appeared to improve muscle mass and functional properties

Such as

  • balance
  • walking
  • speed
  • leg strength.

They also showed that toxicity of chemotherapy may also be reduced through moderate activity.

Katrin Stücher one of the study participants said

“I go walking every morning. It’s good for both my mind and my body and I’m sure it’s contributing to my recovery. I think that if you hadn’t encouraged me to continue exercising I would probably not have dared to push myself so far physically”,

“We believe that it will make sense in future to offer patients opportunities for physical exercise during chemotherapy. To eliminate adversities through the weather, exercise rooms could be set up in hospitals. In addition, we should motivate patients to continue with the program after they have taken a break because of side effects”,

sais Professor Winfried Banzer, Head of the Department of Sports Medicine at Goethe University Frankfurt.

More information

To see the full report please go to

For further information contact Professor Dr. Winfried Banzer, Department of Sports Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Frankfurt University Hospital, Tel.: +49(0)69-798-24543, or Katrin Stücher, nutritionist, Katrin.Stuecher [@]

Further Reading

A Lack Of Patient Support For Those Who Choose No Cancer Intervention.

Suggestions For An Optimal Cancer Diet: Hoaxes and Myths Not Discussed

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Cancer Research

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