CLL Support Association
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Physical activity and hematological malignancies... decreased risk...significant in CLL

Physical Activity (PA) and CLL ...large study

There was a decreased risk of hematologic malignancies associated with Physical Activity.

These associations were strongest for myeloid neoplasms for the highest tertile of all PA, for the highest tertile of moderate/high-intensity.

There were also significant associations between PA and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma or other mature B-cell lymphomas except plasma cell disorders.

Conclusions Our study offers the strongest epidemiological evidence, to date, to suggest an association between regular PA and dose-dependent risk reduction for most hematologic malignancies, particularly myeloid neoplasms.

Fred Hutchison...Seattle

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I ran several 1/2 marathons, 10 mile Great South Runs and 10K Cancer Research runs before my diagnosis in 2010, as well as gym work and regular tennis.

Since diagnosis I have completed 2 more Great South Runs. Unfortunately I have suffered with sciatica this year and was unable to run this year's. I have noticed that not being able to engage in PA this year, has left me feeling less well than I have been in the last 2-3 years.



I cycle to work every day and go circuit training once a week - I've had CLL for 5.5 years and like to think that keeping reasonably fit helps.


I joined a gym with my wife. We try and go 3 times a week. I do as much or as little as I can, but our overall fitness has improved.More importantly is greater confidence in my body and well being. We are blessed with 5 young grandchildren and it is so important to feel active and able to join in their games.


I just thought I'd add to this thread, so that others like myself, who are unable to exercise, in the true sense of the word, due to health problems, apart from CLL, don't perhaps feel guilty, deflated, or failures - I know I do sometimes!

It can be hard to hear of people able to cycle or walk for miles, when you know that you simply can't, because of arthritis or breathing issues etc

I am going to look into exercises that migh be possible to achieve whilst sitting and in the meantime, I believe that the main thing is to try to be as active as you are able; at least to attempt to be mobile - even if that is just walking from room to room around the house, if not outside, or even climbing the stairs at home, once or twice a day.

Just to keep moving is key, I think......some days I feel it's a major achievement just to get out of bed and get dressed!!!

sparkler x

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Well said, sorry if I sounded smug. We each do what we can and I take inspiration from other's courage.


No wokkawokka, you didn't sound smug at all. Like you say, we all can only do what we can and I wish I could do more. Shopping (but only for clothes) used to be my main exercise for a long time.... but now I mostly let the fingers do the!!! Your 5 grandchildren must certainly keep you on your toes - no wonder you need to keep as fit and active as possible.

sparkler x


Hi Yes I think staying active both mentally and physically is important to health. This is whether you have CLL or not. I do find that regular excise helps a lot ( I do a walk for health once a week) especially when it is with other people such as walking (I can talk for England) and I play bridge twice a week which as well as keeping the little grey cells working also interacts with other people. Its a question of finding something you like and keep going.


Coincidentally, this month's Australian Leukaemia Foundation CLL Newsletter included an article stating that research into exercise and blood cancers proved that in addition to the general benefits from exercise, i.e.:

* decreased psychological distress, including anxiety, depression and anger

* decreased fatigue

* increased body strength

* increased quality of life; and

* increased cardiovascular fitness,

exercise also reduces the amount of physical de-conditioning in patients that is often associated with treatment.

Personally, I credit my fitness with considerably delaying the more serious symptoms of CLL. I was cycling over 100km per week prior to suddenly getting ill and finding out I was stage IV. Prior to that, the only symptoms I had were increasing fatigue and the occasional night sweats.

Exercise also helped me recover from the impact of 2 month battle with Cytomegalovirus when even a short walk of 20 metres left me breathless. It took a long time to recover; around a year to get perhaps 50% of my stamina back, partly because I'd overdo exercise, but it was worth persisting to recover my quality of life.

There's much more we need to find out about what exercise works best, such as whether a burst of intense exercise is more beneficial than burning the same calories at a gentler rate. Does getting your heart pumping help flush the B-lymphocytes out of protective micro-environments so our body can kill them off faster, with or even without chemotherapy? We now know that cancerous B-lyphocytes do still die, so perhaps exercise hastens their demise and can thus slow progression?

There's so much we still don't know.


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