Cancer can be a common conversation subject.

We’re all affected by it somehow, as many of us have family or friends with health problems. Hearing about cancer brings sadness and awe to our hearts, especially when we’re talking to patients and survivors.

Fortunately, scientists continue to research prevention methods as well as treatments and cures.

Research continually shows a lower risk of cancer in athletes. There are fewer cases of lung, kidney, breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer among active individuals.

How is this possible?

Athletes need fit, healthy bodies to be able to perform and excel in their fields. They have strenuous workout and diet regimens, and are therefore less likely to smoke or indulge in other vices.

There’s more.

New evidence reveals that exercise protects our bodies against cancer in numerous ways.

Exercise may increase cancer patients’ chances of survival. According to some Danish researchers, this is because adrenaline has a protective effect on our bodies. Doctors from Copenhagen University Hospital injected cancer cells into two groups of mice. One group had activity wheels, permitting them to run as much as they desired, while the other group got no exercise.

According to Dr. Pernille Hojman, oncologist and lead author on the study, the tumors in the active mice were 60 percent smaller than those in the sedentary mice.

The tumors of the exercising mice contained infection-combatting cells, which are natural killer cells working to fight cancer. Another exercise-induced chemical, interleukin-6, helped immune cells take down tumors.

The team injected adrenaline and interleukin-6 into cancerous sedentary mice to strengthen their immune systems for help in attacking the tumors. The study’s findings proved that hormone therapy has the potential to help people too old or too sick for exercise.
What should you do?

If you exercise on a regular basis, you aid the loss of body fat, reducing your risk of cancer. Several studies have shown the connection between regular exercise and reduced risk of lung, prostate, and endometrial cancer.

More studies will show us the full extent of the effect of exercise on cancer, but to get ahead of this disease, exercise regularly.

Living a healthy life is the only choice to make.

Aimee Harris-Newon, Psy.D., D.A.B.P.S., C.Ht

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