A new study has found that regular exercise can lower the risk of at least 7 major types of cancer. The study was conducted by several researchers from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and the Harvard T.C. Chan School of Public Health. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study took a look at the recommended daily exercise and how it affected the body’s health. Scientists now have a clearer understanding of just how much exercise plays in health. The study included over 750,000 men and women.
According to health officials, adults are encouraged to have at least 2 to 5 hours of medium activity a week. The study mirrors that in one way or another. To better understand and account for all variables, researchers gathered patients between the ages of 32 and 91. Colon cancer saw between an 8%-14% risk drop in men while for women, there was an 11%-18% risk drop for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The results saw a slight decrease across all aspects of the study while maintaining the recommended weekly activity. Studies showed the more active you were doing the week, the more it lowered your chance for cancer.
According to Charles Matthews, the senior investigator at U.S. National Cancer Institute, “We found that the recommended amount of physical activity was associated with significantly reduced risk for breast, colon, endometrial, kidney, liver, myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” Health officials have stated the data shows medium activity greatly helps lower cancer risk but not ultimately lowers it. While there isn’t evidence on how exactly exercise lowers cancer risk, Alpa Patel, Ph.D., senior scientific director of epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society, there isn’t a need for alarm. People who exceeded the minimum requirements saw a higher drop in cancer risk.
Researchers have said the data still has a few faults. When adjusting for body mass index, or BMI, researchers have said the link between endometrial cancer and physical activity seem to have disappeared. However, this had a “limited effect” on other types of cancer, scientists have said. In addition, a significant association for non-Hodgkin lymphoma was seen only in women, and the same was true for colon cancer in men.
Cancer has been a huge part of our society for decades. In 2018, there were an estimated 1,735,350 cases in the United States alone. An estimated number of 609,640 deaths occurred. A rapid increase in cancer cases has since emerged. In 2019, out of 1.8 million people diagnosed with some form of cancer, at least 606,880 were deaths. Cancer was the second leading cause of death in the United States in 2016, according to the National Cancer Institute. As researchers continue to make advancements in the fight against cancer, we still see an increasing number of cases. Every minute, there 3 new cases and 1 cancer-related death in the US.