Physical activity: breast and bowel cancer prevention

Prevention of breast and bowel cancer

Bowel cancer prevention

Risk reduction can be from 40 to 50%

  • According to a number of studies, physical activity can be capable of reducing the risk of bowel cancer by 40 to 50%.
  • However, this protective effect is not applicable to rectal cancer.

How does it reduce the risk?

  • Exercise increases the speed at which faecal waste passes through the intestines. As a result it decreases the transit time and in particular, the time that faecal matter and it's carcinogens are in contact with the bowel mucosa.
  • Exercise increases prostaglandins (PGF), which inhibits the development of the colic cells and results in an increase in intestinal movement.

Breast cancer prevention

For breast cancer, there can be a risk reduction from 30 to 40%

Type of physical activity

  • The type of physical activity is variable. For moderate physical activity, 4 hours of power walking per week, can result in a significant reduction in risk.
  • For those patients being treated for certain types of cancer, 3 to 5 hours of walking weekly, can lead to a potential decrease of between 20 to 50% for the risks of death or recurrence of the cancer.

Studies have also outlined that there are benefits for other types of cancer.