Exercise Can Lower Risk of 13 Types of Cancer, Says Massive Study

By Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno
May 17, 2016 Updated: May 22, 2016

Exercise can lower the chances of getting cancer, suggests a study by JAMA Internal Medicine published on May 16.

Scientists studied 1.44 million participants in the United States and Europe—57 percent of them female and 43 percent male. The individuals were between ages 19–98; the median age was 59.

Those studied exercised in a “moderate to vigorous intensity,” with a median level of about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

The study suggests exercise lowers the risk of 13 types of cancers: esophageal adenocarcinoma, liver, lung, kidney, gastric cardia, endometrial, myeloid leukemia, myeloma, colon, head and neck, rectal, bladder, and breast.

The results show that the associations were broadly generalized among different populations, including those who are overweight or obese and those with a history of smoking.

“These findings … confirm and extend the evidence for a benefit of physical activity on cancer risk and support its role as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention and control efforts,” the National Cancer Institute said in a statement about the study.

“Health care professionals counseling inactive adults should promote physical activity as a component of a healthy lifestyle and cancer prevention,” said the lead author of the study, Steven C. Moore, an investigator with the National Cancer Institute.

Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno