Women Who Exercise Can Reduce The Risk Of Colon CancerHealth and Fitness From Around the World
Long-term physical activity decreased colon cancer risk for postmenopausal women in California Teachers Study.
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California collected data from 120,147 women who had no history of colon cancer and were current or former California teachers and public school administrators between the ages of 22 and 84. The study began in 1995 and ran for seven years.
By collecting information on the women’s exercise habits and using information from the California’s state wide comprehensive cancer registry the researches were able to identify which women developed colon cancer. Over the course of the study, 395 participants were diagnosed with invasive colon cancer.
It was found that postmenopausal women who exercise at least four hours per week and were not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) reduced their risk of colon cancer by 50%
However this did not apply to women on hormone replacement therapy as the hormone has been proved to protect women from colon cancer and exercise had no extra benefits.
This is probably why studies of men and colon cancer had shown strong evidence of protection but studies of women have not been so conclusive, no one had taken into account HRT that many postmenopausal women are taking.
HRT is often administered to help reduce the symptoms of the menopause but it has been found that it can also increase the risk of breast cancer. Because of this many women are now coming off the therapy. What makes this study interesting is that four hours of exercise a week has shown that it can provide as much colon cancer protection as HRT.
According to Leslie Bernstein professor of preventive medicine the evidence is convincing and long-term moderate and strenuous physical activity reduces the risk for women not receiving menopausal hormones.