Monday, October 5, 2009

Childhood Cancer Survivors Exercise Less, Increasing Diabetes Risk

“In a study of adults who survived cancer as children, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators found that many survivors lead sedentary lifestyles and are more likely to be less physically active than their siblings. Childhood cancer survivors are at greater risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease than the rest of the population. Cancer treatments such as cranial radiation can damage the hypothalamus and pituitary; the result is an abnormal metabolism, which increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. Also, chemotherapy with the drug anthracycline increases the risk of heart disease; and radiation to the body can cause blood vessels to become less pliant. ‘Physical activity is a key step that survivors can take to reduce the health risk of these effects,’ said Kiri Ness, Ph.D., of the Epidemiology and Cancer Control department at St. Jude..."

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