Salud

Para sobrevivir al cáncer de seno, correr es mejor que caminar

El ejercicio es parte de la estrategia para mantener a raya todo tipo de cáncer y evitar su recurrencia. En el caso específico de las sobrevivientes del cáncer del seno, varios estudios han demostrado que cuando se siguen las recomendaciones de hacer 2.5 horas de actividad moderada a la semana, estas mujeres disminuyen su riesgo de muerte en un 25 por ciento. Una investigación nueva sugiere que cuando se supera esa meta semanal, la protección aumenta, y que una actividad más intensa, como correr es incluso mejor que caminar. Así que ¡busca tus zapatillas ahora mismo!

A pesar de que el cáncer del seno o cáncer de mama sigue afectando a una de cada ocho mujeres, es el tipo de cáncer más común entre la población femenina a nivel global y reclama la vida de cientos de miles de mujeres en países de todo nivel de desarrollo, la Organización Mundial de la Salud ofrece datos optimistas: en años recientes, quizás debido a la reducción del uso de la terapia hormonal en mujeres de más de 50 años, se ha observado una disminución en la incidencia de cáncer en ese grupo específicamente.  Además, gracias a los esfuerzos de concientización y prevención, a la detección temprana y a tratamientos cada vez más efectivos y eficaces, la tasa de mortalidad del cáncer del seno se ha venido reduciendo desde 1990.

Millones de sobrevivientes de cáncer del seno viven a diario entre la alegría de haber superado la enfermedad, o la esperanza de lograrlo y el temor a que el cáncer regrese. Si estás entre ellas, es bueno que sepas que el ejercicio es un arma realmente efectiva para disminuir el riesgo y evitar la recurrencia.  Varios estudios han demostrado que las sobrevivientes del cáncer del seno que cumplen con las recomendaciones de realizar unas dos horas y media de actividad física de intensidad moderada a la semana, disminuyen su riesgo de muerte en un 25 por ciento.

Una investigación nueva, realizada por el Laboratorio Nacional Lawrence Berkeley, del Departamento de Energía de los Estados Unidos, demuestra que ese riesgo puede disminuirse todavía más. ¿Cómo? Aumentando tanto el tiempo como la intensidad de la actividad física semanal.

El estudio siguió los casos de unas 986 sobrevivientes de cáncer del seno que participaron en el National Runners´and Walkers´ Health Study (Estudio Nacional de Salud de Caminadoras y Corredoras). Nueve años más tarde, 33 mujeres de las 714 que caminaban y 13 de las 272 que corrían fallecieron a causa del cáncer del seno.  Al analizar estos datos en conjunto, el riesgo de mortalidad de cáncer disminuyó un promedio de un 24 por ciento por hora de equivalente metabólico (MET) al día de ejercicio.  Ten en cuenta que una hora  de equivalente metabólico (o MET) es igual a un poco menos de una milla (1.61 km)  de caminata rápida o a dos tercios de milla (1.21 km) al correr.

Cuando los investigadores analizaron  los datos de los dos grupos por separado, observaron una disminución significativa del riesgo en las mujeres que corrían. El riesgo de mortalidad para las corredoras se redujo en más de un 40 por ciento por cada hora MET diaria.  Aún más, las corredoras que corrieron 2.25 millas (3.62 km)  diarias como promedio alcanzaron un 95 por ciento menos de mortalidad que aquellas sobrevivientes que no cumplieron los requisitos mínimos. Las que caminaron, por su parte redujeron un modesto 5 por ciento el riesgo de mortalidad por cada hora MET de ejercicio diario.

En resumen, cuando se trata de luchar por sobrevivir al cáncer, exceder la cantidad recomendada de ejercicio semanal resulta más efectiva. A la vez, correr parece ofrecer más beneficio que simplemente caminar.

Sin embargo, los investigadores advierten lo siguiente:

  • El estudio no descalifica los beneficios de caminar, debido a que el número de participantes en el mismo fue relativamente bajo.
  • A pesar de que las investigaciones derivadas del estudio nacional demuestra que correr es mejor que caminar cuando se trata de perder peso, ambas actividades ofrecen los mismos beneficios de salud cuando se quema la misma cantidad de energía. Entre estos beneficios se incluye la reducción de las enfermedades coronarias, la diabetes, los reemplazos de cadera, y el cáncer cerebral.
  • En cuanto a prevenir el cáncer del seno (no su recurrencia), tanto el correr como el caminar ofrecen el mismo nivel de beneficio.

Quedarte de brazos cruzados es tu peor opción si quieres evitar que el cáncer regrese. Cuando empieces a realizar cambios en tu estilo de vida (alimentación, nivel de actividad física y control del estrés, entre otros), te sentirás más fuerte y en control. Consulta con tu oncólogo en relación a qué te recomienda en tu caso específico, pero en vista de los resultados de esta investigación, considera comenzar a caminar, y en cuanto puedas, a correr. ¡Tienes mucho por ganar!

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