For cancer survivors, three seasons on vegetable gardening may help cancer survivors expand physical activity, fruits, and vegetables in the diet and also raise feelings of self-worth.
It is calculated there are more than 15 million cancer survivors in the US, over two-thirds of whom are over age 60.
“For cancer survivors, especially those who are older, we look for lifestyle changes that can help them get healthy but are also principles and have to mean,”
Demark-Wahnefried and her colleagues did a pilot study with 42 cancer survivors, spot set half to take part in a year-long gardening program with run extra time master gardeners and the other half to be put on a waiting list for the gardening program.
All the part were age 60 or older, lived in Alabama and had been identified with early and mid-stage cancers that have high resistance rates – such as confined bladder, breast, prostate or neck cancers.
As part of the gardening group, 91 percent at a lose with the program through the one-year follow-up, 70 percent said their skill was “excellent” and 85 percent said they “would do it again.”
One control of the study is a small size. Physical activity advance, for example, can be difficult to set in small numbers, especially with an activity such as gardening that has different intensities.
“In the disorder of cancer, people often feel like they control nothing,” Spees told Reuters Health by phone. “When you give them a new skill set, it gives them control over their lot and a place and space to help them on this progress”