Cancer is a disease that is a major threat to people in our society. For years, doctors have been looking for ways to prevent the emergence of the disease or to allow better treatment. Now researchers found that participating in leisure activities helps to increase the protection against a variety of cancers massively.
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health found in an investigation that active people who pursue many physical activities in their free time are better protected from different types of cancer. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal "JAMA Internal Medicine".
Physical activities at leisure improve the protection 13 of 26 cancer types
The researchers had analyzed the data from twelve previous studies for their examination and, with a few exceptions, all subjects showed a better protection against 13of 26 cancer cases when they had a more active recreation. A total of about 1.44 million people participated in the 12 studies, say the doctors. The results were clear: active people had a 42 percent lower risk for esophageal cancer, a 27 percent lower risk for liver cancer, a 26 percent lower risk for lung cancer and a 23 percent lower risk for the development of kidney cancer,
Even when considering the weight of the body, the researchers were able to detect a reduced cancer risk for ten of 13 cancers, which is triggered by higher levels of physical leisure activities, says Dr. Steven C. Moore of the National Institutes of Health. Relating to smoking diminished physical activity only the risk of lung cancer and other smoking-associated cancer diseases are not affected. However, the higher activity also increases the risk of malignant melanomas by 27 percent and the risk for prostate cancer increases by about 5 percent, the medical experts add.
Physical activity could become a key component in cancer prevention
Our results show that these relationships are largely generalizable in different populations, including overweight and obese persons or people who smoke, explains Dr. Moore. These results support the promotion of physical activity as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention. The study looked at physical exercise in the various studies. The experts tried to measure how much energy per minute( measured in MET) was used for specific activities. For example, a moderate activity such as walking requires about 3 to 5.9 MET.Faster running has already consumed more than 6 METs, the authors explain.
The participants included in the analysis were questioned about their specific activities such as walking, running or swimming. In addition, the physicians determined the weekly participation in moderate activities. The average score was about eight MET per hour per week for most participants, which is about 150 minutes of moderate activity, such as normal walking, say the researchers. The authors of the study also looked at the effects on many rare tumors. In a way, they were able to confirm what the doctors had already seen in the more common tumors. This is a good news because physical activity could also become an important strategy to reduce the risk of rare types of cancer, the scientists explain. However, further research is needed to determine which mechanisms are involved in the reduction of cancer risk, the experts add.(as)