A recent study found that increased levels of exercise and physical activity have a direct impact on lowering the risk of 13 cancers. These include esophageal, liver, lung, kidney, gastric, endometrial, leukemia, myeloma, colon, head/neck, rectal, bladder, and breast cancers.
The findings indicated three factors that contribute to lowering cancer risk. They are:
- Estrogen – studies show these levels are lowered in physically active women.
- Insulin – active people typically have lower levels of insulin; that alone is a cancer risk factor.
- Inflammation – a general risk factor according to the study.
The research indicated that “median” activity level was defined as just over two hours per week or one hour of intense activity per week; the median age of participants was 59. Overall, the researchers were able to conclude that either length of activity results in a 7% decreased risk of cancer.
This is great news and supports the popular and increasing quest to get out and MOVE!
What are some other things we can do to lower our cancer risk?
- If you smoke, STOP! A 2014 study determined that smoking a pack of cigarettes a day can cut 10 years from a person’s life. Even second-hand smoke is harmful.
- Maintain a healthy weight; obesity is a factor in 14% of cancer related deaths. Have you heard the phrase, “Plant Your Plate”? The American Institute of Cancer Research suggests two-thirds of your plate should come from plants: fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.
- Decrease your alcohol consumption, although red wine has been shown to have heart healthy benefits. More than two drinks a day can cut your lifespan by 20 years.
- Stress can become the foundation for overindulgence in bad habits like smoking, overeating, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Methadone and cocaine users die at an average age of 42. Try to “shake it off” instead with meditation, yoga, and movement.
- Sunscreen should be applied even on a cloudy day when the sun’s rays are still harmful but not felt. It’s possible to get a painful sunburn at the beach even on a cloudy or windy day!
- Regular screenings like prostate and mammogram tests may help detect early, treatable problems.
- Know your family history. Some conditions are genetic and knowing how to combat them and may make a difference. “Knowledge is Power”.
Why not make it a point to do something wonderful for yourself today … adopt a new attitude … eat healthy, move those bones and muscles, and most of all, take care of yourself! Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help when those bones and muscles don’t feel the way they should. We have four locations and offer same day appointments when needed. Call 941-951-2663 for an appointment. You may also schedule an appointment online from our website at www.SOA.md … just click on the green button.
Sources: JAMA Intern Med 5/16; National Institute of Health; Medscape