Now this is a colon cancer risk factors statistic that will make you sit up and take notice.
Evidence suggests that anywhere from one third to one half of all cancers could be prevented – by changes in lifestyle. Some new work by researchers from Washington University finds that active people are 24% less likely to develop colon cancer (one of the most common cancers) than less active ones.
This research supports a large volume of studies from around the world that have shown being physically active can cut the risk of colon cancer.
Why the link? Here are some possible answers:
- Being active leads to regular bowel movements, any cancer causing agents in foods pass through the digestive system quickly.
- Being active cuts the levels of insulin, hormones and even some growth factors that at high levels can foster tumor growth.
- Being active cuts bowel inflammation that could otherwise lead to developing cancer.
When it comes to activity, the analysis that appears in the February 2009 issue of the British Journal of Cancer included all types of activity – everything from demanding manual work to regular walking to other leisure time pursuits like running or working out at a gym.
Exactly how much activity is enough is a matter for another study. Experts also can’t tell us how intense the activity must be to get the protective effect – rigorous or moderately intense exercise have both shown promise in earlier research.
The analysis also found that the reduction in colon cancer risk were similar for both men and women.
Dr. Kathleen Wolin, lead researcher from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis explains, “These results give us a very reliable calculation of the positive effect that exercise can have on reducing colon cancer risk. It’s very positive to see that exercise has such a clear benefit in reducing cancer risk.”
You don’t have to run marathons or lift impossibly heavy objects to get the benefit. Just doing something active for 30 minutes a day, as many days (ideally 5) of the week as possible and you should start to notice the benefits of being more active.
Best of all, what you do can be anything that leaves you warm and slightly out of breath like gardening, dancing, housework, a walk after dinner, a bike ride or session on the treadmill can all be effective choices.
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Exercise Can Cut Colon Cancer Risk By Almost 25%… continued
Even if you can’t find that half-hour, little bursts of activity through the day add up.
So take the stairs rather than an escalator or elevator.
Park away from the entrance or get off your bus a stop early.
Even if you haven’t been all that active in your life it’s never too late to start – the negative effects of an inactive lifestyle can be reversed. And you’ll be amazed (and encouraged) by the way you start to feel.
Additional research on the type, intensity, and duration of physical activity that lower the risk is still needed. The good news for now is that being active, something we can all control, helps lower colon cancer risk factors. Hard to ignore, isn’t it?