Exercise can reduce your chances of getting one of seven types of cancer. A new study shows the more you exercise, the lower the risk.
That is the conclusion of the researchers who collected data from nine studies covering more than 750 thousand men and women. “We found the recommended amount of physical activity was actually associated with a significant reduction in risk for breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, liver, myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said lead researcher Charles Matthews, a senior researcher at the US National Cancer Institute.
Reported by Webmd, guidelines in the US recommend moderate exercise three to five hours per week for adults or one to three hours of strenuous exercise every week. The more active you exercise at the recommended time, the smaller the risk of cancer.
Specifically, the risk of colon cancer in men is reduced between eight percent for moderate exercise and 14 percent for strenuous exercise. For female breast cancer, the reduction ranges from six percent for moderate exercise to 10 percent for strenuous exercise; for endometrial cancer from 10 percent to 18 percent; kidney cancer 11 percent to 17 percent; myeloma, 14 percent to 19 percent; liver cancer 18 percent to 27 percent; and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in women, 11 percent to 18 percent.
But senior director of the epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society, Alpa Patel, part of the study, said these results must be interpreted carefully. Patel said the study did not prove exercise reduces the risk of cancer, but there is a strong relationship between the two.
Matthews however said that the research results showed doctors and fitness experts to encourage adults to exercise at the recommended level to reduce cancer risks. How exactly exercise reduces the risks of these seven cancers is unclear, but Patel has a theory.
“The general thing we know from exercise is that it’s important to regulate insulin, sex hormones like estrogen, have an important impact on inflammation and immune responses or all different factors can affect various types of cancer,” he said.