Can regular exercise help reduce the risk of cancer? 4 things to know
Regular readers of my column know that I’m always bombarding the schedule about the many benefits of exercise for promoting health and well-being. However, an often overlooked benefit is that regular exercise can help reduce the risk of injury cancerincluding some forms breast cancer.
Here’s what you need to know about how regular sunscreens can lower your risk of cancer and why:
Can estrogen levels increase the risk of breast cancer?
In women, both genetic and environmental factors can influence the risk of breast cancer, but the main factor is estrogen, a risk factor common to all women. Estrogen can fuel and promote some types of breast cancer, which means that having more estrogen in the body, especially over a long period of time, increases the risk of cancer. For example, earlier onset of menstrual periods and later menopause lead to longer exposure to higher levels of estrogen. But just as important, if not more so, in today’s society, excess body fat can promote estrogen production, raising the amount of estrogen circulating in the body to a dangerous level.
The risk of excess body fat is not limited to women and breast cancer. Excess body fat increases inflammation in the body. When fat storage cells fill with fat, they can release chemicals that promote inflammation in the surrounding tissues. This is bad news because inflammation is the driving force behind many serious diseases, including cancer. When the inflammation is chronic, as it happens in obesityThere can be cell mutations and other disorders that create an environment that increases the risk of cancer.
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How does excess body fat affect the risk of cancer?
Excess body fat also leads to disruption of hormonal function, especially insulin. When you add fat around your waist and genitals, you risk shifting Insulin resistance. I’ve written many times about insulin resistance as a cause Type 2 diabetes. Cells resist the effects of insulin resulting in more insulin in the bloodstream, and because insulin is a growth factor, the increased concentration leads to faster cell division. In turn, cells may divide without control and newly formed cells can invade nearby tissues, creating an opportunity for cancer to start and spread.
In addition to reducing body fat and all the problems it creates, exercise contributes to strengthening the immune system which may prevent cancer from gaining momentum. The immune system creates T cells, a special form of white blood cell, and sends them out to find “foreign” cells that don’t belong and need to be destroyed. This includes cancer cells. Also, exercise increases the production of many factors that activate some types of other immune cells, and stimulate them to fight cancer cells.
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How can exercise help if you have been diagnosed with cancer?
If you have cancer, is exercising regularly a good idea? The answer is yes, and exercise appears to be particularly effective in fighting breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, reducing the odds of death by up to 40% to 50%, According to a recent study.
However, despite this impressive statistic, mainstream America doesn’t see a protective role in the practice. On the contrary, the common belief is that if you have cancer you need to rest and maintain your strength. This was also the case years ago for heart attack victims, but now we know better, and exercise in Cardiac rehabilitation programme Presumably, and the earlier you start the better.
The breakthrough was the use of exercise for those undergoing cancer treatment which can be devastating, causing fatigue, gastrointestinal upset and an increased risk of infection, as well as the mental and emotional toll of fatigue, anxiety and depression. Research shows that exercise reduces these effects, reduces the overall trauma of treatment, and helps maintain a higher quality of life.
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How exercise can help reduce the odds of dying from some types of cancer
Researchers discovered Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. Their research included men with “late-stage” prostate cancer.
As a result of an exercise program, the research team found elevated levels of a protein calledMyokinsMyokines are produced in skeletal muscles, the muscles you use when you exercise, and they help in two ways. One, they can hinder the growth rate of existing cancerous tumors, and two, they fight cancer cells, helping to prevent new tumors from forming.
Not only did the participants benefit from the continuous exercise program, but the researchers also found benefits from just one bout of exercise. When the participants performed 34 minutes of high-intensity exercise on a steady cycle, there was a significant increase in myokines that suppressed the growth of prostate cancer cells “in vitro” (test tube analysis of cells removed from the body).
The researchers were pleased with the results and concluded, “This helps us understand why patients who exercise show slower disease progression and live longer.”
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In other words, there is more to the already impressive exercise story than monitoring body fatness to reduce inflammation and circulating insulin levels, in addition to boosting the immune system. We can now expand the list to include the benefits of myokines.
Let me add, researchers recommend not only high-intensity aerobic exercise but also resistance exercise for muscle development. More muscle mass produces more myokines.
You can reach Bryant Stamford, professor of kinesiology and integrative physiology at Hanover College, at email@example.com.