Regular Exercise Cuts Risk of 13 Cancers Even in Smokers and Obese

'Young Woman Jogging'

A recent study shows that regular physical activity can curb the risk of developing 13 types of cancers.

BEACON TRANSCRIPTA new study confirms that regular workout is an effective cancer-preventive. A group of researchers found that physical activity can shield people from 13 different types of cancers regardless of their smoking habits and overweight problems.

According to the study, people who engaged the most in moderate to intense exercise had 20 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with seven types of cancers and 42 percent lower risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma than their inactive peers.

Liver cancer risk was also reduced in the first group by 27 percent, while lung and kidney cancer risk dropped by 26 percent and 23 percent respectively. Exercisers also had a diminished risk of endometrial cancer of 21 percent and were less likely to develop myeloid leukemia by 20 percent.

Researchers also found that the more exercising the better. Participants who exercised the most had their risk of developing six types of cancers trimmed by 10 percent to 20 percent as compared with participants who exercised the least. Furthermore, the first group’s chances of developing skin cancer, colon, neck and head cancers were lower by 16 percent on average. Plus, their risk of breast cancer was also reduced by 10 percent.

The research team also found that regular physical exercise is tied to a lower risk of small intestine and gall bladder cancers.

The latest study is a review paper of a dozen comprehensive studies conducted by U.S. and European researchers. The studies involved more than 15 million participants who had their physical activity levels and cancer risk tracked over nine to 21 years.

In seven of the 12 studies, exercise levels were based on self-reports which greatly varied from one study to another. The latest study’s authors sought a universal method to track the level of fitness, so they used a scale from 0 to 100.

The median level of activity was 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise per week such as walking. But cancer risk dropped proportionally with the increase of exercise levels, researchers noted. The most obvious positive results were visible when the most physically active group was compared with the least physically active one.

Surprisingly, even study participants who were seriously overweight or obese saw their cancer risk reduced if they stayed very active. There were, however, three exceptions: risk of endometrium, gastric cardia, and liver cancers didn’t drop in this particular group. But smokers and former smokers also benefited from regular physical activity in the long run.

Image Source: Wikimedia