"A run a day keeps the tumour at bay" The Economist, Feb 2016

Hello everyone

I enjoy running and have found it a good way of relieving anxiety and stress both when I was cancer-free and now having been re-diagnosed. After this morning's 30 minute run (admittedly with a stop half-way) I began to wonder why I kept at it, and whether it was actually doing me any physical good (although there's no doubt I feel the psychological benefit).

My next appointment is in 10 days time, yet I have little to report to the consultant. It seems to me strange that despite my tumour being over 2 cm at my June scan, I have still not had any symptoms.

Today I found this article from earlier this year in The Economist (see link below). If you look past the whole "experimenting with mice" thing, it's really interesting. There could be more to this running lark than we know right now. Maybe not a lifesaver, but a way of slowly things down a little?


I know it's all just stats, and one micro study, but I'm not hanging up my trainers yet!


27 Replies

  • I loved to run before this tumour took over my life I'm trying to build up again on my treadmill.. But it's not going too good at mo with my chemo legs... Good to know it will be doing me good when I finally get going again 😍

  • Keep on running, Shellygirl! I actually find running on a treadmill more difficult - so well done you x

  • Me too, I'm rubbish on a treadmill. I need scenery and mud and hills (preferably fast DOWN hills- hehe)!

  • I do like to run outside or I did before. I am do out of practice and unfit I would be embarrassed for anyone else to see me. Red face bald head and big bum dragging behind me lol.

  • I don't run but I walk every day and I'm convinced it has a beneficial effect - it's being out in nature as well. It's where we're meant to be, according to a recent article I've read ... not stuck in front of computer screens ... Keep it up! x

  • I've never run but have hiked for the last thirty years. I agree, it's being out in nature is where we're supposed to be. There's something about looking at the green of trees, the green of grass that appeals deeply to our inner souls.

  • That's it, Harpist - being outdoors and enjoying just "being". x

  • I'm smiling because yesterday my hub and I went walking with another couple and another lady. Normally such walks have the ladies and men splitting, and I was up front with the ladies on the flat, but as soon as there was an incline I just couldn't keep up with them - they were off like greyhounds, taking all the juicy conversation with them!! So I dropped back with the guys and found them much more sensitive to the fact that someone on Avastin doesn't always fire on all cylinders! Having said that, we did 7 miles and a pub lunch, and that was great. It is a lesson in whether you walk alone though, and whether if you go with others they are sensitive to your needs. I like to present as 'normal' so maybe people don't realise my pulse goes up in hot weather when the ground goes up too! Maybe for just 'being' it's easier to be on your own?

  • I have read this and it is in fact very interesting . I have decided to go back walking because resting isnt really any benefit to my hip. So I feel better in myself anyhow. I have read before that exercise can be very beneficial and usually I am good about it but past few months had hip problems. Since resting doesnt improve the situation, I just have decided to walk not as fast but walk and my doggies are delighted with me. Caroline, your name Minard reminds me of the name of a Castle in Kerry in Ireland. There is a Castle called Minard Castle near Inch on the Dingle Pennisula. It is actually a very beautiful area

  • Yes I know there's a Minard in Ireland but my one is actually in Argyll, Scotland. Not as lovely perhaps but a place that means a lot to me.

  • Any exercise has to be a good thing and getting out in the fresh air before the Autumn comes is too,my trainers aren't going away either wether it's treadmill or pavement, keep going girls!


  • OK but I'm having a rest today! I promise to go for a wee walk though, Carole x

  • Great to her you are still running Caroline and hope for positive news at your next scan. How was the recurrence picked up if you have no symptoms? Many of us have no symptoms and have oncologists who don't do scans and blood tests unless there are some symptoms. I don't think I will be running again but that is because of a knee problem. Instead I walk a great deal, pushing a pushchair with a grandson in it to try and get him to sleep!!! Enjoy the bank holiday everyone. Love Val x

  • Hi Val - I had constantly rising CA125 levels since March and was advised to have a scan in June which showed a tumour in the peritoneal cavity (and some other nasty little cancer cells). The advice for me (which goes against everything I've followed to date) was not to start chemo immediately but to wait until I had symptoms. I believe these will be either pain or a build up of fluid. So far, so good.

    Hope you're having wonderful weather down your way, and enjoying lots of quality time with your grandson, Val. x

  • Interesting article. I was advised by my oncologist before I started my chemo to exercise as much as possible. I'm a keen walker, swim, ride a bike and a horse. Aching legs with the chemo made walking at times uncomfortable but I took a stick with me. Surgery interrupted the riding and swimming for a while but now back enjoying them. I'm 10 months into a reoccurrence but still with no symptoms. Scans and the dreaded 125 blood test shows that it is growing but slowly and my oncologist is happy to leave well alone . I now have 6 weekly checkups. Neuropathy still makes me a little wobbly at times especially on uneven ground so have signed up for a Nordic walking course to see if that helps. We all know that a healthy diet and exercise is important but the problem is that the after effects of chemo and surgery make following such advice difficult, more so for some of us than others. I think each of us have to work out for ourselves what we are capable of doing and give it our best shot.

    Good luck with the running and to everyone else whatever you are able to do xx

  • Hi - this was soooo good to read. I was beginning to think that I was on my own in this wait-and-see situation to the extent that I expected to tell my consultant that I'd changed my mind and would start chemo in Sept.

    Nordic walking sounds a great idea. I will hold you up as a beacon, Cre27!

  • Let's keep it away as long as possible!

  • Hello, I'm interested to read that you still horse-ride. I am finding it difficult to dismount properly. I don't know if it's because of the operation (four months ago) or if it's because I've become unfit and inflexible. I have to dismount (forwards) onto a mounting block. I agree with you that it's hard to follow the advice of exercise if neuropathy makes it difficult. I'm wondering if you experienced the same problems regarding dismounting and if so, if you did any particular exercises to overcome it.

    Good luck with your slow recurrence. May it even decide to come to a halt.

  • Yes I also had a problem dismounting!!!!! More so that my lovely horse Deacon is 17.1 hh!!!!! As well as the debulking surgery I also had an stoma for almost a year,now reversed. I dismount by leaving my left foot in the stirrup and swing the right over the back (in the usual way), then when it's by the side of my left leg,I slip the left foot out of the stirrup and slide down to the ground. I found this didn't hurt my scar or interfere with the stoma plus it helped me land on the ground more gently helping the neuropathy. Sorry if it's rather long winded and you understand what I mean. But if you have found a way that suits you I wouldn't worry too much and stick to what works for you. I think will all have to adapt our lives in one way or another.

    You are only 4 months post surgery so very early days. I did the Pilates type exercises that the hospital gave me every daily for several months and also tried to have a daily walk.

    I'm sure your general fitness will gradually improve,just enjoy your riding and don't worry too much about doing some things slightly differently to how the Pony Club would expect them done! In my mind it was just great to be riding once again!

    Happy riding days xx

  • Well done on the run Caroline. I really believe exercise helps in many ways and I love my ballet and my running. I haven't been able to do them as much (or as well!) through third line carbo/caelyx due to lack of energy but I always feel better when I do so.

    I'm not very good at sitting still and get a bit frustrated when i can't do everything I want to, so have to keep reminding myself that a short slow walk/run or half a ballet class is better than nothing!!! 😉

    Keep up the good work and here's to staving off the chemo for as long as possible. 😀👍


  • Very interesting article. I try to walk as much as possible ( not running )

    Love getting out and is great for me mentally.

    Just wanted to mention, I'm on watch and wait. Ca125 rising but haven't had scan as yet. Oncologist thinks like yours. Wait for symptoms to appear !

    Best wishes


  • Thanks Judy. I was at the GPs today for my bloods and there was general surprise about my decision not to go straight ahead for chemo. I am taking the oncologist's advice though and keeping calm! x

  • A brisk walk does it for me. I used to do 5 miles a day. I'm working back up to it. I have a phone app that tells me how long Ive walked. I'm a goal oriented person and it's really good for my emotional well being.

  • I finished chemo two weeks ago and am now slowly but surely getting my strength back. I have been on chemo since january, then surgery, and chemo again till 2 weeks ago. I find it very hard to walk as I used to especially with the sun and heat. It's very humid and it makes me feel lightheaded and nauseous. This summer has been especially horrid with 90+ degree days and 110 with humidity. I can barely walk my poor dog. I don't run as I have weak ankles but I used to hike and walk a lot. I think joining a gym and using the treadmill may strengthen my leg muscles again. Any other machines i should use? I went shopping with my son the other day and we walked a lot and the next day my legs hurt. I think my muscles atrophied, is this possible?

  • Running definatley keeps me focused but on my new treatment I've struggled to do as much but do at least 2 5ks a week. I prefer out door running and always feel so much better when I've had a run #thisgirlcanrun 😀

  • I can't run any more due to a bad knee but last year the tumours were beginning to come back, CA125 rising in May, but I started walking the Pennine Way and the growth slowed down, CA125 stayed the same, even reduced a bit, for a few months. So I think there's lot on what you say, though it doesn't have to be running, any kind of physical activity will do if it's strenuous enough or done for long enough if it's moderate x

  • Yes, I agree with so many other responses - it's the exercise that counts, not the running. How are you doing, LesleyGreengran? I remember that you were starting on Caelyx and that's on the cards for me too... Hope all's well x