30 mins of exercise cuts womb cancer risk in half - study

Exercise and maintaining healthy weight cuts risk of cancer.Photo / Thinkstock
Exercise and maintaining healthy weight cuts risk of cancer.Photo / Thinkstock

Keeping active for half an hour a day can reduce the risk of cancer of the womb by nearly half, according to a study.

Just 38 minutes of daily physical activity, combined with maintaining a healthy weight, could help to prevent 44 per cent of new cases.

The World Cancer Research Fund's Continuous Update Project found strong evidence that about 3,700 cases could be prevented every year.

Womb cancer mostly affects women aged over 60. The most common is endometrial - affecting the womb lining.

Doctor Elisa Bandera, a CUP panel member and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Rutgers Cancer Institute in the United States, said: "Endometrial cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, but a significant proportion of cases could be prevented every year by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active."

Fellow CUP panel member Professor Hilary Powers, of Sheffield University, said: "It is not just the individual who can make changes to reduce their risk of cancer.

"Governments and other organisations can do a lot to make a healthier lifestyle an easier option for us all."

Researchers at Imperial College London collated and reviewed all the scientific research available on womb cancer, diet, physical activity and body weight in the first global review since 2007.

An international panel of experts judged the evidence and scientists at WCRF estimated that about 44 per cent of UK cases could be prevented through physical activity and body weight.

Scientists believe there are several reasons for the link between body fat and cancer, such as fat cells releasing hormones that can increase the risk of some cancers.

Regular physical activity can help to keep these hormone levels healthy as well as strengthening the immune system and maintaining a healthy digestive system.

World Cancer Research Fund executive director Karen Sadler said: "To reduce the risk of womb and other cancers, World Cancer Research Fund recommends being as lean as possible without becoming underweight and being active for at least 30 minutes every day.

The study also revealed evidence that drinking coffee can cut the risk of womb cancer, but not enough to recommend it as a protection.

Karen Sadler of the WCRF said: "The evidence on coffee is very interesting, but a lot more work still needs to be done."


- Daily Mail

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