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Can exercise reduce endometrial cancer risk for overweight women?

by , 20 August 2013

If you're an overweight or obese woman, you might be able to lower your risk of endometrial cancer if you get plenty of exercise. That's what a recent study has found. Here are the details of the study…

According to the MayoClinic, endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus. It starts in the layer of cells that form the lining (endometrium) of the uterus.

One of the strongest risk factors for endometrial cancer is obesity.

The good news is if you’re a heavy woman, you can slash your endometrial cancer through physical activity.

That’s right, a study published in the British Journal of Cancer has found that strenuous and moderate physical activity are linked to lowered risk of endometrial cancer for heavy women, Reuters reports. Researchers didn’t find a link between activity level and endometrial cancer risk for thinner women.

The link between exercise and a lower risk of endometrial cancer risk for women

According to Reuters, researchers looked at 93,888 participants in the California Teachers Study, 976 of whom were diagnosed with endometrial cancer between study enrolment in 1995-1996 and the end of 2007.

Researchers found that heavier women who reported at least three hours a week of strenuous physical activity at the beginning of the study had a 24% lower risk of developing endometrial cancer compared to women who got less than half an hour of vigorous exercise each week.

Dr. Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, told Reuters there are two mechanisms through which exercise might reduce endometrial cancer risk and its by: Helping women lose weight and by directly reducing circulating estrogen levels.

“Even in the absence of weight loss, here we’re seeing that there’s a positive value of being physically active to your risk of endometrial cancer,” she said.

Although the connection was not seen among normal-weight women, Patel said, other studies including her own research have suggested exercise benefits them too, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, study author Christina M. Dieli-Conwright of the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, California is quoted as saying “physical activity is a good thing, however its involvement in reducing the risk specifically with endometrial cancer does need to be further investigated.”

The truth is you don’t need further research especially since you know that being physically active will keep you healthy and help you curb life threatening illnesses like endometrial cancer.

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