breast ca image

If you are like a lot of people you might have a little worry in the back of your mind about getting cancer. Apparently 1 in 3 in the UK gets some sort of cancer during their lifetime so it’s a reasonable concern. Figures are very similar for most western countries.

Are there things you can do to reduce your chance of getting cancer?

Actually there are quite lot and the BBC News reported on one last week.

Recently a large study following 73,000 women for 17 years found that regular walking significantly reduced their risk of getting breast cancer. These women were aged between 50 and 74. Those women who walked, on average, an hour per day had a lot lower chance of getting it than those who did very little exercise.

It appears that just walking most days for a hour slashes your chance of getting a nasty illness. It was also found that women who exercised more vigorously cut their chances even more.

This makes a lot of sense when you know a little bit about cancer.

How does exercise cut your chance of getting cancer?

Cancer doesn’t fare so well in a well oxygenated body. Cancers like to be in a low oxygen environment, it grows well in these conditions. Cancer cells are unlike other cells in the body, they do not need oxygen to grow and divide. In fact lots of oxygen slows it down. All normal cells in your body are dependent on oxygen, they die without it – or turn into cancer.

Activity and exercise gets your blood pumping around your body. This blood is well oxygenated because by exercising you are breathing deeper and faster, therefore getting more oxygen into your body. Your muscles will be pumping it all over the place. Your body will be well oxygenated after some activity.

Although this particular study was done on women, and focused on breast cancer, it has been known for a long time that people who keep themselves reasonably fit by exercising are less likely to get cancer.

There is a simple message this week – get off you bum and do at least some moderate exercise like walking every day.

Diet is important too – info here about sugar and cancer.

Until next week, Uber Health :)