A run a day keeps cancer at bay

Colorectal cancer

Fact 1: Colorectal cancer cases continue to rise and are becoming more prevalent in relatively young populations. Unfortunately, most patients are diagnosed when the ailment is already at advanced stages.

Fact 2:  The risk of colon cancer is reduced by 20 per cent or more in people who exercise as compared to those with sedentary lifestyles.

Effect of running: High intensity exercise like running is believed to influence changes in digestive acids which in turn provide some level of protection from colon cancer.

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In addition, decrease in body fat, reduced chronic colon inflammation and gastrointestinal transit time, and improving DNA repair are some of the benefits that you can acquire with exercise which tone down the development of colorectal cancer.

Breast cancer

Fact: Estrogen, the female hormone plays a key role in the development of breast cancer. This is especially so in older women since after menopause, estrogen is produced by fat cells.

How running helps:  Exercise helps you burn fat. Women with less fat produce much less estrogen and in turn lower their risk of developing breast cancer.

Oesophageal adenocarcinoma

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Fact: The obesity epidemic has been partly attributed to the incidence of this type of oesophageal cancer through insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.

How running helps: By decreasing visceral fat and lowering the levels of inflammatory cell signaling proteins produced by the adipose tissue (adipokines), physical activity can be effective in reducing the risk of esophageal cancer.

Endometrial Cancer

Fact: The majority of women who develop endometrial cancer are obese, linking overweight to be a major risk factor. This emphasises the fact that weight management is a viable method of reducing chances of this type of cancer.

Apart from the highlighted conditions, studies also show that exercise significantly reduces the incidence of liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and leukemia. In addition, exercise is strongly attributed to reduced risk of cancers of the head and neck, bladder, lung (in former and current smokers), blood, rectum and bladder.

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So, what exercise is good enough?

Reduce your cancer risk by ensuring that you get a 30-minute run regularly. For cancers that are known to have some element of recurrence, like prostate cancer, it is important for survivors to exercise regularly and maintain healthy weight after treatment. Not only will keeping fit keep the disease away, it will also improve the quality of life after a daunting battle with such ailments.

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Breast cancerEndometrial CancerRunCancer at bay