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Exercise Key in Lowering Colon Cancer Risk

A large scale analysis published online ahead of the February 2009 print edition of the British Journal of Cancer found that exercise may significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer in both men and women.

For the review, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard University analyzed decades of previous studies exploring the connection between exercise and colorectal cancer risk.

After reviewing 52 studies dating back to 1984 and adjusting for outside risk factors, the researchers found that those who exercised most were 24% less likely to develop colon cancer than those who exercised the least.

Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer. It is estimated that almost 150,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2009.

According to the results of this large cross sectional study, exercising more may be an effective way to reduce your risk of colon cancer. The research also ads to a substantial body of evidence that shows exercise may have significant anti cancer benefits.

While this study did not identify the level or intensity of the exercise it did show the benefits held across many different activities like running, biking, swimming, lifting and digging.

Previous research has shown that you don't necessarily have to invest a lot of time to see positive health benefits from exercise. Walking for 30 minutes a day, stretching for a few minutes when you get up each morning and playing with children or grandchildren can all have a significant impact on overall health.
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