Regular Exercise Prevents Colon Cancer

A recent article published in the Journal of the National Cancer institute revealed that studies have indicated that physical activity or regular exercise can reduce the risk of colon cancer. But there is no evidence that it can also hold true for other forms of cancer.

A team of researchers headed by Rachel Ballard-Barbash of the National Cancer Institute investigated 45 observational studies and random control trials (RCTs) published between January 1950 and August 2011.  They were looking for a correlation between physical activity and cancer biomarkers or mortality with those who were survivors of the disease. What they found out was RCTs with biomarker endpoints showed that exercise is beneficial to the cancer survivors due to the lowered insulin levels, improvement in immunity and reduction of inflammation. Data from survivors of breast cancer and colon cancer indicated that these two types of cancer greatly get affected by regular exercise.  The study cannot determine the degree of exercise and the duration of the activity to make it advantageous to the cancer victim.

The researchers further stressed that there is a need for random control trials that would look at the exercise types. A look at how weight loss, weight gain and cancer treatments influence how regular exercise on cancer biomarkers. Dr. Edward L. Giovannucci, M.D., ScD, of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, is of the opinion that physical activity when done by the cancer victims can prolong life span as well as the quality of life. Exercise is safe and is beneficial to the body. Dr. Giovannucci said that exercise should be part of the standard maintenance and care for cancer survivors.

The research authors strongly recommend that other observational studies be made especially with regards to other types of cancer. For now only breast and colon cancer has indicated that exercise reduces risk.  Larger cancer samples should be made and links between physical activity and death be made since there are a lot of factors involve like risk characteristics, clinical issues and tumor sizes.  There is also a call for research on the biological processes involving cancer survivor analysis and constant physical activity.

Consult with a gastroenterologist if you are worried about your risk of colon cancer.  Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle may help decrease your chances of colon cancer, but obtaining regular colon cancer screenings can be the best preventative option for limiting colon cancer risks.  Click here to learn more about colon cancer screening options such as colonoscopy.