A new analysis shows that physical activity may reduce the risk of several types of cancer. The leading charity Cancer Research UK announces that University of Bristol researchers have uncovered a link between exercise and reduced cancer risk. In 37 out of 51 studied reviewed, regular exercise can cut the risk of colon (but not rectal) cancer by 40 to 50 per cent. There is a 30 per cent reduction in breast cancer risk with physical exercise - the benefits being greater for post-menopausal women. Lung cancer risk may be reduced by 40 per cent and there are smaller risk reductions for both endometrial and prostate cancer.
The researchers say that moderate exercise for 30 minutes on three or more days a week could, on this evidence, substantially reduce the risk of cancer. There is also evidence that exercise can help people recover from cancer - reducing fatigue and improving mood. The team will shortly start a new study to find out more about the impact of exercise on people who already have cancer.