Cancer risk cut down by exercise

Cancer risk cut down by exerciseA new study has found that the risk of at least 13 different types of cancer can be reduced through regular exercise. The researchers found that regular exercise could reduce the risk of breast, colon, and lung cancer, based on their study that included 1.4 million people.

Furthermore, the more hours you spend exercising the greater the reduction of your cancer risk. Lead author Steven Moore explained, “The more activity, the more the benefit. As people did more, their risk continued to lower.”


The study found that regular exercise could reduce the risk of at least 13 different cancers, including leukemia, myeloma, and cancers of the esophagus, liver, kidney, stomach, endometrium, rectum, bladder, and head and neck.
Current guidelines for recommended exercise are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity weekly or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Such exercises include a brisk walk, playing tennis, jogging, or swimming.

The researchers focused on voluntary physical activity during the leisure time, separate from house chores or work, performed as a means to improve health.

The researchers pooled data on 1.4 million people from 12 U.S. and European databases. They looked at whether physical activity was associated with a risk reduction in 26 different types of cancer.

A high level of physical activity was associated with a seven percent risk reduction in total cancer. Esophagus cancer was reduced by 42 percent, while breast cancer was reduced by 10 percent. “This suggests that physical activity may have a role to play in population-wide cancer prevention efforts,” Moore said.

One of the theories as to why exercise may reduce cancer risk speculates that exercise reduces hormones that have been associated with cancer. It also helps control insulin levels and insulin-like growth factor. Those who exercise also have less inflammation, their cells undergo less oxidative stress and are more capable of repairing damaging DNA, a potential cause of cancer.


The findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article on Breast cancer risk lowered with high fruit consumption in teens: Study


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.