Bike and Cycling Forum > Cycling Forums > 50+ > Cancer survivors, has riding helped your condition?


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Old 05-15-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
John_V
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Cancer survivors, has riding helped your condition?

Since I asked to start this thread for 50+ cyclist, I may as well get a topic started.

In 2006, I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia or CML. It is treated by oral medication, which has worked fantastically in keeping the leukemia under control. However, since the CML causes the immune system to be compromised, the slow growing, prostate cancer that was just sitting there, suddenly became very aggressive and began growing very quickly. Because of the CML, I could not have the prostate removed using any kind of invasive procedure and had to rely on medication and aggressive radiation to treat it as well.

My hematologist/oncologist is an avid cyclist and when I started riding, at age 63, he was very excited about it. In my case, the daily rides have actually helped with the remission of both the leukemia and the prostate cancer by vastly improving the cardiovascular system. It also made it easier for me during the five weeks of radiation treatments as I was never really tired or felt worn down after any of the sessions.

Not to say that cycling is a cure for anything, I am curious if other 50+ cancer survivors have noticed that cycling has helped them in their treatment or in keeping the cancer. In remission?



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Old 05-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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I'm terrified of that. My father had prostate cancer and it's been a huge ordeal and I can't help but feel doomed to have to deal with it as well.



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Old 05-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rola643
I'm terrified of that. My father had prostate cancer and it's been a huge ordeal and I can't help but feel doomed to have to deal with it as well.
Today, it's one of the easiest cancers to manage if caught in time and also gives more options for treatment than other cancers. I fully disagree with the study that said PSA testing is not really required as part of an annual physical for men over fifty. I would be dead if they didn't do the PSA test when they did and noticed my number skyrocket. My best friend was diagnosed with prostate cancer not long after I found out I had it. He opted for the ortthoscopic surgery, which has the least complications and the fastest recovery rate (one week). If caught really early, most prostate cancer responds quite well to isotope implants, which is an outpatient procedure. I guess the older you are when you get diagnosed with it, the less there is to do for it. Since it's such a slow growing cancer, unless you have other issues as I did, you will most likely die from something other than the prostate cancer. And by older, I mean over 75.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:18 PM   #4
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Always good to hear something positive on such a devastating topic ! I guess a finger wave is better than the alternative

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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I read recently that studies have begun to show huge benefits in cancer patients who exercise. It may not have gotten more attention because no one who doesn't already exercise wants to hear about how good it is for them. Also no one's figured out how to put exercise into pill form so it can be sold at a profit. We are, by and large, insanely sedentary in the United States.

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Old 05-15-2012, 10:24 PM   #6
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I agree, and it doesn't take much of an excuse for us to park our butts on the couch and do nothing. I used to be very active in martial arts up until I turned 40. I hurt my back and that was pretty much the end of it, even after my back was healed. It's much easier to find a reason why you don't do some form of exercise than it is to actually go out and do some. Had my wife not bought my first bike 2 1/2 years ago, I would be close to 200 lbs and on all sorts of medications. I dropped 30 lbs from cycling and making a moderate change in my diet.

I sometimes wonder if it isn't the processed and fast food industry that apposes more bike friendly communities because they would loose money as more people became fit. Just saying.....

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Old 05-16-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_V
I sometimes wonder if it isn't the processed and fast food industry that apposes more bike friendly communities because they would loose money as more people became fit. Just saying.....
I can see where you're coming from, but if so, they're misguided: people burning many calories tend to need more food more often, and the health effects of fast food can be at least somewhat mitigated by the exercise.

For example, a 1200 calorie meal isn't as bad when you've burned 1500 calories so far and will be hitting the trail again, afterward. Good for you? Probably not entirely, but MUCH better if you're pedaling rather than driving to pick up lunch.

My $0.02....:-)
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:46 AM   #8
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My cancer and my cycling are unrelated, but without surviving prostate cancer, I wouldn't be cyling today. Three years ago at age 60, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Robotic laproscopic surgery followed. My recovery has been pretty good these past three years. Without the now discouraged PSA screening my cancer would still be growing unnoticed. Discovered early enough and treated promptly, prostate cancer is survivable. I also question the wisdom of no longer including PSA screenings in regular checkups.

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Old 07-03-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LijeBaley
My cancer and my cycling are unrelated, but without surviving prostate cancer, I wouldn't be cyling today. Three years ago at age 60, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Robotic laproscopic surgery followed. My recovery has been pretty good these past three years. Without the now discouraged PSA screening my cancer would still be growing unnoticed. Discovered early enough and treated promptly, prostate cancer is survivable. I also question the wisdom of no longer including PSA screenings in regular checkups.
We're on the same page for PSA testing. My prostate cancer was very aggressive and was to the point that it would have spread out of the prostate had I not been screened and monitored. I went from a PSA of 2.6 to 4.2 in one year and 4.2 to 6.8 in three months. I wonder why men aren't as in-tuned to their bodies as women. They said the same thing about mammograms until women made such a big stink about it that they pretty much reversed their decision.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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I am in total disagreement with the new medical "advice" that regular prostate screenings are not really necessary!! My dad found his after it had metastasized into his ribs and back. Of course, he also had two doses of colon cancer which was taken care of via surgery. But, even with metastatic prostate cancer, his oncologist still insisted that he probably would not die "from" it, but would surely die "with" it. Because of his issues, I have been a regular member of the "wave" club and the PSA blood test. I have tracked my numbers and seen them go up and down like a roller coaster, but my physician does not seem too concerned, so neither am I.

All of this brings me to this question: Is it possible that riding a bike, after many, many years of not riding, could irritate the prostate and cause some increase in the numbers? My last test was done not too long after I got started back riding and I wonder if this has anything to do with the slight increase. I understand many things can cause an increase.

Regardless of the medical community's advice, I will remain on the annual test side!



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