Monthly Letters to Pulmonary Patients by Thomas L. Petty

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137

Walk Against Cancer!

April 2002
Second Wind
Lomita, California

     Dear Friends:

     A growing body of evidence indicates that people who exercise regularly have far less cancer than those who are pretty much “couch potatoes” and avoid as much physical activity as possible.  Of course, exercise may be a marker of other healthy habits such as weight control, eating a high fiber diet, and being interested in maintaining a state of high physical fitness.  In addition, exercise may help purge the lung of carcinogens by deep breathing, increase bowel motility and stimulate the immune system to be able to deal with invading cancer cells that may mutate from normal cells in all of us.

     It has been known since the tuberculosis era of the past, that exercise stimulates appetite and improves sleep.  Regular exercise reduces respiratory and heart rate at a given task, and it combats anxiety and depression.  It mitigates shortness of breath.  Exercise can be used as an adjunct to smoking cessation.  So, for whatever reason, everyone is strongly advised to exercise for health each day.  My own schedule is to walk at least 30 minutes every day, and some days even more.  So get out there, take your walk today and tomorrow and every day to reduce your risk of cancer as you improve your quality of life.

  I'll be in touch next month.

  Your friend,

  Thomas Petty, MD

Date Published:
11 April 2002