Exercise Linked to Lower Risk of Death from Colon Cancer

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In November of 2010, a study reported that women who exercised for at least 150 minutes a week might have a reduced risk for endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer. 

Now, a new study conducted by the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, showed that regular long-term physical activity can make colon cancer less deadly. 

The researchers analyzed data from the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) Nutrition Cohort (150,000 men and women) to see whether changes in physical activity could prevent colon cancer or reduce the risk of death from cancer. 

Physical activity included walking, jogging/running, lap swimming, tennis, racquetball, bicycling, stationary biking, aerobics/calisthenics, and dancing. 

The study found that people who were consistently active for at least 10 years had a significantly lower risk of dying (55% risk reduction) from their colon cancer than those who were consistently inactive. 

While this study indicated cancer-free individuals should perform regular exercises to reduce the risk of colon cancer mortality, patients with cancers should also exercise regularly.  The new guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine highlighted the benefits to cancer patients of exercise training both during and after cancer treatments to improve physical functioning, quality of life, and cancer-related fatigue. 

Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010;19:3000-3004. Abstract

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