Exercise Cuts Cancer Risk By Forty Percent, Weight Lifting Has Greatest Impact

It is well known that the body itself has defences against cancer. It is less known how the body does this and to what extent so-called “natural defences” can be improved. Exercise itself — particularly weight training — has reportedly been shown to be associated with a 40% decrease in the likeliness of getting cancer.

Dr. Mercola, CEO of Take Control of Your Health, has been advocating fitness training since 1977 to benefit a variety of helath conditions, not just cancer.

“One of the primary reasons exercise works to lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.”

Short bursts of exercise are seen as being as effective as longer routines, the importance is frequency. A person should be working on a whole body fitness regime to benefit most, so aerobic and weight training should be done together. Exercise has been associated with a variety of health improvements. Smokers get a slight benefit from vigorous workouts, which might help clear the lung passageways, which are not expelling pollutants due to the burnt away cilia hairs, which, in the lungs provide a brushing motion to push out particulates and mucus.

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 18: Registered nurse Jnani Chapman teaches a yoga class geared towards cancer patients at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center August 18, 2005 in San Francisco, California. The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to use the latest research and technology to battle cancer and was recently rated 16th best cancer center in the nation by US News and World Report.a
SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 18: Registered nurse Jnani Chapman teaches a yoga class geared towards cancer patients at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center August 18, 2005 in San Francisco, California. The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to use the latest research and technology to battle cancer and was recently rated 16th best cancer center in the nation by US News and World Report.a
SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 18: Registered nurse Jnani Chapman teaches a yoga class geared towards cancer patients at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center August 18, 2005 in San Francisco, California. The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to use the latest research and technology to battle cancer and was recently rated 16th best cancer center in the Nation by US News and World Report.
SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 18: Registered nurse Jnani Chapman teaches a yoga class geared towards cancer patients at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center August 18, 2005 in San Francisco, California. The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to use the latest research and technology to battle cancer and was recently rated 16th best cancer center in the Nation by US News and World Report.
SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 18: A group of women participate in a yoga class geared towards cancer patients at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center August 18, 2005 in San Francisco, California. The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to use the latest research and technology to battle cancer and was recently rated 16th best cancer center in the Nation by US News and World Report.
SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 18: A group of women participate in a yoga class geared towards cancer patients at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center August 18, 2005 in San Francisco, California. The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to use the latest research and technology to battle cancer and was recently rated 16th best cancer center in the Nation by US News and World Report.

Breast cancer survivors, take note: weight training is an effective method for staving off physical decline, as well as fighting off obesity, which also increases cancer risk. Cancer.org highlights the work of Melinda Irwin, Ph.D., who suggests that breast cancer survivors are not getting enough exercise for it to be beneficial.

Reduction in pain, especially that associated with cancer medication, is also a benefit of exercise.

There is some resistance to this idea, as, traditionally, cancer survivors have been told to rest more. The National Health Service (NHS), the main supplier of primary health care in the United Kingdom, posts on its website the latest research on exercise and cancer.

“Doctors and nurses need to ‘bust the myth’ that cancer patients should simply rest to recover.”

The results of exercise in treating cancer:

(1) About 40% lower risk of breast cancer returning.

(2) About 50% lower risk of colon cancer returning or dying of colorectal cancer.

(3) About 30% lower risk of men dying from prostate cancer

[Images by Phil Walter, Jamie McCarthy, Alex Wong / Getty Images]

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