For World Cancer Day, how physical activity can lower your cancer risk

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Globally, cancer is a leading cause of death and the statistics are sobering.  Worldwide cases of cancer are predicted to reach 21.7 million by 2030.

Today on World Cancer Day – and throughout Cancer Prevention Month – one big theme is about getting individuals to play a more active role in reducing their cancer risk. Being active is an important way to do that, and that’s the theme for World Cancer Day.

You surely know that exercise is good for you, but what most Americans don’t know is that being active actually decreases your cancer risk.

Our 8th Cancer Awareness Survey, released this week, showed that only 39 percent of Americans know that inactivity relates to cancer risk. And it does.

AICR research shows that getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day lowers risk for colorectal, breast, and endometrial cancers. Being active also makes a difference for weight management. Staying a healthy weight decreases the risk of 11 cancers, including colorectal, esophageal, and breast.

To help spread this message, World Cancer Day is highlighting their ‘Support through Sport’ initiative, which aims to inspire individuals to get active.

World Cancer Day comes at the start of Cancer Prevention Month here in the U.S., a time when AICR and many other health organizations are working to raise awareness of the many steps you and your family can take to reduce cancer risk.

AICR research shows that being active, eating healthy and staying lean can prevent nearly one third of the most common US cancers. Add in not smoking, avoiding sun damage and other factors, and that rises to the possibility of preventing nearly half of US cancer cases.

For more on how activity and other factors can lower cancer risk – visit our Cancer Prevention Month site.

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    Author: Mya Nelson

    Mya R. Nelson is at American Institute for Cancer Research, where she writes about the research in the field.

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