How to Prevent Cancer with Exercise


Cancer, the second leading cause of death in the U. S., is responsible for one in every four deaths. Projected estimates for 2001 indicated that 553,400 people would die from cancer and 1,268,000 new cases would be diagnosed. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women. The second leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women, respectively, are prostate and breast cancer.

Cancer is actually a general term that applies to more than 100 diseases characterized by abnormal and un­controlled cellular growth. Any cell can become cancerous if it is exposed under conducive conditions to carcinogenic (cancer-producing) substances. Exposure to carcinogens eventually will give rise to mutant cells, which will divide and grow uncontrollably. Normal cells follow an orderly and predictable blueprint for growth and division. Cancerous cells do not respond to the body’s signals restricting cellular division, so they and their offspring continue to grow wildly. The mass of new growth is a tumor or neoplasm (new tissue).

How to Prevent Cancer with Exercise  Prevent Cancer

Cancerous tumors are malignant. They grow rapidly, and they are not confined or localized. They shed their cells, invade surrounding tissues, and compete with normal cells for space and nutrients. Metastasis is the medical term for the spread of cancer from its original site to other areas of the body. The processes that trans­form normal cells to malignant ones are complex and not well understood.

Techniques and strategies have emerged that can reduce the incidence of many forms of cancer. Cancer pre­vention includes:

1. Abstinence from all forms of tobacco

2. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains, low in fat, and devoid of smoked and cured meat and fish

3. Minimum exposure to radiation and carcinogenic chemicals such as asbestos and radon gas

4. Regular participation in exercise

5. Maintenance of normal body weight throughout life.

An international panel of cancer experts has concluded that 30 percent to 40 percent of all cancer cases world­wide could be prevented by consuming a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining an appropriate body weight. Many studies have shown that the most physically active people have the least risk of developing can­cer. Men whose cardiorespiratory fit­ness was low had almost double the risk of dying from cancer as those who were most fit.

The strongest evidence for a pro­tective effect of exercise exists for colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Aerobic exercises such as walking and jogging that are performed at a mod­erate to vigorous intensity may reduce the risk for these and possibly other forms of cancer by:

1. Preventing weight gain and obesity

2. Strengthening the immune system

3. Speeding the transit time of food through the intestines, resulting in less time for contact between fecal matter and the intestinal walls.

4. Reducing the production of estrogen in females, lowering the risk for breast cancer, and testosterone in males, lowering the risk for prostate cancer.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Reduce Your Risk of Prostate Disease
  2. How to Prevent High Blood Pressure through Exercise
  3. How to Prevent Osteoporosis with Exercise
  4. How to Treat Colorectal Cancer
  5. How to Exercise Safely during Pregnancy

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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