Exercise could cut risk of cervical cancer

Exercise could cut risk of cervical cancer

Here’s another reason to get off the couch: Women who don’t exercise appear more than twice as likely to get cervical cancer as those who work out, but even modest exercise might reduce that risk.

New research has found that 31 percent of women diagnosed with cervical cancer reported working out fewer than four times a month. The study also involved more than 500 women who were thought to have cervical cancer but were ultimately healthy. Twenty-six percent of those women reported inactive lifestyles. The findings by researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York appeared in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease.

The study was the first of its kind to investigate the association between exercise and cervical cancer, and the researchers were quick to point out they haven’t established a definite cause-and-effect connection. Still, they said inactivity is associated with increased odds of cervical cancer.

The findings build on the idea that exercise is a boon for health. A separate study of more than 1 million people found that working out for a few hours a week was enough to slash the risk of colon, lung and breast cancer by an average of 7 percent. One of the most encouraging findings of the larger study was that exercise lowered the chance of esophageal cancer, which is especially deadly, by 42 percent.

And if you do happen to get cancer, the odds for survival increase with exercise, according to a study of more than 10,000 middle-aged to senior men with prostate cancer. Fitness buffs enjoyed a 30 percent lower mortality rate.

So for the sake of a healthy life — get moving!

Related Episodes