New study concludes regular exercise helps prevent cancer

New research has found tens of thousands of Canadian cancer cases could be avoided with regular exercise.

Researchers say if more of us worked out 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, thousands of cases of breast, colon, prostate and even lung cancer could be prevented.

The study found, that in 2007, more 12,000 cases could be linked to inactivity, and more than 5,700 cases of cancer could be attributed to excess body weight.

“One hypothesis that is sort of common across cancer is that regular physical activity reduces chronic inflammation in the body, and its believed that this reduction of chronic inflammation reduces the risk of a tumor developing or cancer occurring,” said Dr. Darren Brenner, the study’s author.

Health Canada and the American Cancer Society recommend 150 minutes of moderate-to vigorous exercise a week in order reduce the risk of cancer.

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It’s not much, but only 15% to 20% of Canadians are making the time.

And because of that cancer cases are on the rise.

“The main cancers that are related to physical inactivity are breast, colon and endometrial cancer –  as well as there’s evidence to suggest that its related to be prostate, ovarian and some lung cancers as well,” said Dr. Brenner.

The study estimates more than 12,000 Albertans develop cancer each year because of inactivity and excess body weight.

And it found more women than men are affected by the disease.

To reduce your risk, health experts say a brisk, half-hour walk, five times a week should do the trick.

It’s advice Sue Daniel takes to heart.

Because of her family history, she’s  considered a high-risk for breast cancer.

So Daniel exercises several times a week.

“Obviously there’s things that we can’t change in our lives such as our genetics, our exposure to certain environmental toxins and things,” said Daniel.

“But if we can change some things in our lives hopefully that can be beneficial.”

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About 16,000 cancer cases are diagnosed in Alberta each year.

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