Massive new study, activity cuts risk of 13 cancers

A large new study that pooled together data from a dozen studies found that those who walk, swim, jog or do other sorts of activity the most are at lower risk of developing 13 different types of cancer compared to those who are the least active. The study included almost 1.5 million participants and supports the importance of physical activity for lower cancer risk.

It was published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Activity MashupAICR research shows that activity lowers risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers. There is some evidence being active may play a role in other cancers, but many of these studies are relatively small; AICR continues to analyze the research – including this study – as part of its Continuous Update Project.

The strength of this study was that it could pool together cancers that are not as common. Here, researchers included 12 population studies from the United States and Europe to look at how physical activity links to 26 cancer types. All together, the studies included 1.4 million men and women, ages 18 to 98. The average age was 59. Continue reading

Exercise for weight loss may lower inflammation, breast cancer risk

For postmenopausal women who are overweight, it makes sense that losing weight could reduce their risk of breast cancer because being overweight or obese increases the risk. But when overweight women are working to shed pounds, is it primarily exercise or cutting calories that makes more of a difference in lowering the risk?canstockphoto16118782

Both, suggests a new study, with weight loss fueled primarily by exercise possibly leading to even more benefits – at least in the short-term for certain markers of breast cancer.

The study is one of the few randomized controlled trials that focuses on teasing apart the effect of diet versus exercise on breast cancer risk. It was published this week in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Previous research has shown that too much fat tissue can place the body in a constant state of inflammation. That leads to high levels of hormones and other proteins that can spur cancer cell growth. How exercise alone can affect inflammation and hormones is one of the big questions under study. Continue reading

It’s Cancer Prevention Month, Make Each Day Count

Today is February 1st.  Do you know what month it is?  Not a trick question – this is a very important time for us all here at AICR as February is National Cancer Prevention Month.  That means 29 days to shine a spotlight on the need for Americans to embrace and make healthy lifestyle changes to protect their health and reduce their cancer risk – and we are determined to make each day count.

It’s important to us because although there are huge strides being made in cancer treatment with new drug discoveries and precision medicine, these are expensive and come with their own challenges. We have a public health crisis — the number of cancer cases due to obesity and lack of physical activity will reportedly surpass those due to tobacco in 20 years. Prevention has the potential to save costs and suffering — and we need to think broadly about it as an effective strategy.

50-infographic-bigThe chances are that if you are reading this blog, you already know about and take some steps to reduce your own cancer risk as part of your daily life.  You might already know that an estimated one-third of US cancer cases could be prevented by eating healthy along with being active and a healthy weight. Many more could be prevented by not smoking and using sun protection. Maybe you try one of our health–e recipes, count your steps or watch your portion sizes on a regular basis.  So are we simply preaching to the choir? Continue reading