Ten Strategies to Prevent Cancer
Physical activity plays an important role in cancer prevention – and not just because it can help you control your weight. Exercise may also reduce cancer risk by lowering hormones and cellular growth factors, improving insulin resistance and, when done in moderation, enhancing the immune system.
Exercise has also been found to improve the prognosis and/or well-being of people already diagnosed with cancer.
The best evidence of potential benefit concerns colon cancer. The effect on breast cancer risk has also been studied extensively, with mostly positive results. For prostate, lung and endometrial cancers, research has been promising, though less consistent.
Of course, people who exercise tend to do other healthy things, which makes it hard to tease apart whether it’s the exercise, healthy lifestyle or the combination of the two that decreases cancer risk. It’s also not clear what kind of exercise is most beneficial – and whether you need to start young and exercise your whole life to reduce cancer risk or if becoming active later is beneficial, too.