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Exercise improves cancer survival, reduces cancer risk, scientists say

ORLANDO Regular exercise, long associated with better cardiovascular health, muscle tone and weight control, also may help prevent certain cancers and improve the odds of cancer survival. Two studies report a strong correlation between such ordinary activities as walking or performing household chores and reduced risk of endometrial and breast cancers, and between walking and improved rates of breast cancer survival. Another demonstrates that moderate exercise decreased the levels of a blood marker that predicts lower survival from several types of cancer among high-risk, obese individuals. The research was presented here today at the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Physical activity and endometrial cancer risk: Abstract No. 3712

Regular exercise, as well as routine activities such as walking and household chores, may reduce a woman's risk of endometrial cancer by as much as 30 to 40 percent, according to researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China.

Charles E. Matthews, Ph.D., of Vanderbilt, and his colleagues, evaluated 832 women with endometrial cancer, aged 30 to 69 years, identified through the Shanghai Cancer Registry. The control population, matched according to age, was randomly selected from female residents of Shanghai. The women were asked about the amount of walking and cycling for transportation, intentional exercise and household activity in which they engaged as adolescents age 13 to 19 years and as adults. Lifetime occupational activity was also evaluated. Women who reported exercise participation in both adolescence and adulthood were 30 to 40 percent less likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who reported no exercise in either life-period. Common activities, including household chores and daily walking, were also found to reduce risk by about 30 percent. Reductions i
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Contact: Aimee Frank
amf@spectrumscience.com
202-955-6222
American Association for Cancer Research
29-Mar-2004


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