A large body of evidence continues to support past research about the anti-cancer effects of exercise and link between physical activity and cancer prevention.
"We now believe physical activity is a primary component of preventing cancer," said Abby Bloch from the American Cancer Society's advisory committee on nutrition and physical activity.
The anti-cancer effects of exercise are due to increases in a protein that blocks cell growth and induces cell death, according to Australian researchers.
Two studies recently published have shown that exercise can protect against skin and bowel cancer, and they have identified new mechanisms that could be responsible for this effect.
One study found that female mice that had 24-hour access to running wheels and were exposed to ultraviolet B light (UVB) took longer to develop skin tumours, developed fewer and smaller tumours, and had decreased amounts of body fat compared to mice that did not have access to running wheels. The second study looked at the development of pre-cancerous polyps in the intestines of male mice and discovered that voluntary exercise and a restricted diet reduced the number and size of polyps and improved survival.
New research shows that regular walking can reduce the risk of breast, bowel and other cancers significantly. It has long been known that regular exercise can improve risk factors for many serious health conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more. Now researchers are saying you don't have to be an athlete…that regular, moderate exercise can provide just as many health benefits by improving oxygenation, circulation, immune response and helping to flush out toxins.
Why is simple walking so effective at preventing cancer? Really, it's not about the walking, but the movement. We find that any movement can help cancer, whether dance, yoga, even support groups, which can create movement between people. But sometimes, people who do high-powered exercises and sports do not reap the same rewards. Why not? Because when we engage in such competitive, goal driven activities, we are not really allowing ourselves to be present in the moment, and thus we're not allowing the movement to really happen. We are not relaxing into the moment.
Until recently, definitive scientific proof has been elusive. While most of the clear benefits of exercise, such as weight loss, can be seen relatively quickly, its impact on - cancer can take years.
Scientists have now begun to connect the dots between regular sustained workouts and the prevention of several types of cancers, among them intestinal, endometrial, colon, breast and lung.
A survey based on information collected over a 23-year period in a research project called the Copenhagen Male Study found that regular exercise can help prevent intestinal cancer. The study comprised 5,000 men divided into four separate groups ranging from those who exercise very little to those who exercise a lot. Doctors examining the material believe that moderate physical activity strengthens the immune system and therefore helps prevent the cancer from developing.
"My study shows that just by walking or cycling regularly, by taking what one calls regular physical exercise, can prevent this very serious and very common form of cancer. Several other studies have had similar results, and one can now say that any doubt has been dispelled." Said Doctor Inge Haunstrup Clemmensen from the Cancer Foundation to the daily newspaper Politiken. The doctor also stated that the study results indicate that moderate physical activity also reduces the risk of cancer of the oesophagus.