Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People Who Exercise Lower Their Risk Of Colon Cancer

Date:
February 12, 2009
Source:
Washington University School of Medicine
Summary:
An ambitious new study has added considerable weight to the claim that exercise can lower the risk for colon cancer. Researchers combined and analyzed several decades worth of data from past studies on how exercise affects colon cancer risk. They found that people who exercised the most were 24 percent less likely to develop the disease than those who exercised the least.

An ambitious new study has added considerable weight to the claim that exercise can lower the risk for colon cancer. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard University combined and analyzed several decades worth of data from past studies on how exercise affects colon cancer risk. They found that people who exercised the most were 24 percent less likely to develop the disease than those who exercised the least.

"What's really compelling is that we see the association between exercise and lower colon cancer risk regardless of how physical activity was measured in the studies," says lead study author Kathleen Y. Wolin, Sc.D., a cancer prevention and control expert with the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. "That indicates that this is a robust association and gives all the more evidence that physical activity is truly protective against colon cancer."

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer. Each year more than 100,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with colon cancer and about 40,000 are diagnosed with rectal cancer. The study suggests that if the American population became significantly more physically active, up to 24 percent, or more than 24,000, fewer cases of colon cancer would occur each year.

Wolin's report was published in the British Journal of Cancer. In the study, she and her colleagues gathered the results from all relevant studies published in English on the effect of physical activity on colon cancer risk.

They eliminated from consideration any studies that combined both colon and rectal cancer because exercise has not been shown to affect rectal cancer risk — including such studies would have led to an underestimation of the effect of exercise on colon cancer risk. In all, they analyzed 52 studies going back as far as 1984, making their analysis the most comprehensive to date.

They found that the protective effect of exercise held for all types of physical activity, whether that activity was recreational, such as jogging, biking or swimming, or job related, such as walking, lifting or digging.

"The beneficial effect of exercise holds across all sorts of activities," says Wolin, also assistant professor of surgery. "And it holds for both men and women. There is an ever-growing body of evidence that the behavior choices we make affect our cancer risk. Physical activity is at the top of the list of ways that you can reduce your risk of colon cancer."

The difference between people who were the most physically active and those who were the least varied from study to study in Wolin's analysis. As an example, in a 2007 study by Wolin and colleagues, women who walked the most realized a 23 percent reduction in their risk of colon cancer. Those highly active women walked briskly for five to six hours each week. By comparison, the women in that study who walked the least walked only a half hour each week.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wolin et al. Physical activity and colon cancer prevention: a meta-analysis. British Journal of Cancer, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604917

Cite This Page:

Washington University School of Medicine. "People Who Exercise Lower Their Risk Of Colon Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090211193822.htm>.
Washington University School of Medicine. (2009, February 12). People Who Exercise Lower Their Risk Of Colon Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090211193822.htm
Washington University School of Medicine. "People Who Exercise Lower Their Risk Of Colon Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090211193822.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins