Research suggests that middle-aged men can not only significantly lower their chances of contracting cancer by adding this one thing to their lifestyle, they can also increase their chances of surviving cancer should they get it. So what lifestyle change is shown to offer lifelong benefits for the middle-aged man?
Research published in the journal JAMA Oncology suggests that men who work out regularly are 55 percent less likely to contract lung cancer than their peers who do not workout. The cardiorespiratory fitness regime proved to be an accurate indicator on the man’s likelihood to develop lung cancer and colorectal cancers. In addition to lessening the risk of getting cancer, men who had higher levels of mid-life fitness also had a higher survival rate if they did contract cancer.
The study involved the surveillance of a total of 13,949 men on an average of 6.5 years of surveillance each. During the time of the study, 1,310 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 200 men were diagnosed as having lung cancer, and 181 were diagnosed as having colorectal cancer. What researchers found was a direct correlation with the fitness level of the men and diagnosis of lung and colorectal cancers. The research showed that high mid-life fitness was associated with a 55 percent reduced risk of lung cancer and a 44 percent lower risk of bowel cancer compared with men with low CRF readings.
Unlike lung and bowel cancers, prostate cancer was not directly linked to fitness level. Men with high levels of fitness were just as likely as their non-fit counterparts to get prostate cancer during the study. Though fitness levels did not come into play in regards to contracting prostate cancer, it did play a role in risk of death.
“For men who developed one of the cancers, high CRF in mid-life was associated with a 32% reduced risk of death from the disease. It also led to a 68 [percent] reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.”
Researchers say this is the first study that demonstrates that cardiorespiratory fitness “is predictive of site-specific cancer incidence, as well as risk of death from cancer or CVD (cardiovascular disease) following a cancer diagnosis.” The researchers say that more studies must be done to effective prescribe a specific duration of fitness that must be maintained mid-life to cut cancer risks as well as to determine if the same statistics hold true for women.
“Future studies are required to determine the absolute level of CRF necessary to prevent site-specific cancer as well as evaluating the long-term effect of cancer diagnosis and mortality in women.”
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