Exercise reduces cancer risk

Exercise can reduce your risk of cancer.

A recent study at the School of Public Health has found that women who exercise can reduce their risk of endometrial cancer by up to 34 percent. The cancer, which forms in the tissue lining a woman’s uterus, has previously been linked to obesity though the results of the study do not demonstrate a causal link between exercise and cancer because the scientists have yet to research genetic components of the disease.

Data in the study was collected from 668 women with endometrial cancer and 665 other women who served as controls. The results showed that women who performed moderate to vigorous exercise at least 150 minutes weekly exhibited a reduced risk of endometrial cancer compared to those who did not exercise.

“Previous studies show that hormonal and lifestyle factors can explain up to 80% of risk for chronic disease,” said Hannah Arem GRD ’15, who presented these findings at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference in Philadelphia last week.

Herbert Yu, the principal investigator for the study, said the results indicate that the benefits of exercise exist even for overweight and obese patients.

“People who think they’re overweight tend to do less exercise,” said Yu. “But in this case, even for those who are overweight, exercise is still helpful.”

These results are particularly important given that the National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 43,470 new cases of endometrial cancer and 7,950 deaths from the disease in 2010 alone.

The research was funded by a $2.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, Yu said.

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