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Blog author, Solai Buchanan is an experienced Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with an MS from Columbia Teachers College. She specializes in treating heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome,and other chronic diseases. She is a provider at a full-service cardiology practice accepting most insurance and staffed with a primary care MD, pediatrician, and cardiologist. Call: 718.894.7907. NYCC is lead by Interventional Cardiologist Sanjeev Palta, MD, FSCAI, FACC. He trained at Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the State University Hospital of Brooklyn. He currently is an Attending Cardiologist at New York Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Having performed over 2000 invasive cardiac procedures Dr. Palta’s patients know they are in trusted hands.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


A new research review has found that regular physical activity significantly decreases risk for 13 different types of cancer including that of the colon, breast, and lung.  For the analysis, researchers pooled data from 12 U.S. and European studies to create a database of 1.4 million adults, aged 19 to 98. They then examined whether self-reported physical activity made a difference in risk of 26 cancers.

The report found that even just a couple of hours a week of physical activity significantly reduces individuals’ risk of cancer.  And, if you can do more, the cancer risk reduction is even greater.  In the study cancer risk continued to decline as time spent doing activity increased.  Prior research has linked exercise to reduced risk of breast and colon cancer, but the role of activity on other types of cancer has yet to be clearly established.  In this analysis in addition to breast, lung, and colon cancer, activity significantly reduced the risk of getting cancers of the esophagus, liver, kidney, stomach, endometrium, rectum, bladder, head and neck, as well as leukemia and myeloma.  Activity level appears to especially moderate risk of esophageal cancer.  The study found doing regular activity reduced risk by 46%.  Activity also had a very marked impact on lung cancer risk with a 26% reduction.

No one is certain why exercise seems to help fend off cancer.  Activity has multiple beneficial effects that likely contribute to its cancer prevention benefits.   Physical activity reduces levels of hormones, such as estrogen, that have been linked to different cancers, especially breast cancer.  Activity also helps control levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor which can promote tumor formation and growth.  People who work out also tend to have lower levels of inflammation.  Their cells appear to be subject to less oxidative stress, and are more capable of repairing damaged DNA that might cause cancer.

What to do:  Get moving!  You do not have to be a gym rat to realize the health benefits of activity.  Do what you can.  Some is always better than none.  Current federal activity guidelines call for doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking) a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (such as jogging).  These recommendations are primarily based on maintaining heart health but also good guidelines for cancer risk reduction.  How vigorous an activity is depends on your fitness level but in general other examples of moderate intensity exercise include walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster), water aerobics, bicycling slower than 10 mph, doubles tennis, and ballroom dancing.  Vigorous activities include race walking, jogging/running, lap swimming, singles tennis, aerobics, bicycling more than 10 mph, jumping rope, and hiking uphill.

Adapted from articles available at:


Moore SC, Lee IM, Weiderpass E et al. Leisure-time physical activity and risk of 26 types of cancer in 1.44 million adults. JAMA Internal Medicine.   Published online ahead of print May 16, 2016. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1548.

McCullough LE, McClain KM, Gammon MD. The promise of leisure-time physical activity to reduce risk of cancer development. JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online ahead of print May 16, 2016. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1521.