Getting regular exercise is becoming increasingly important in helping to prevent cancers as the UK emerges from a lockout, scientists say.
Since the pandemic began a year ago, more and more people have reported gaining weight after cutting down on physical activity while others say they have been eating more junk food.
Being obese or obese leaves individuals vulnerable to thinning and development of tumors, with more than a dozen types of cancer being linked to overweight in recent research studies.
“We need to eat better food, but it is equally clear that regular exercise is also very important in preventing cancer,” said Dr Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh.
Bauld, who chairs sessions at a major conference, Cancer prevention – physical activity, which will be held from 23 to 25 February, says that while tobacco and smoking were the leading causes of cancer in the UK, obesity was now the second highest risk and in the future this is likely to be the time. main reason.
This is driven by two factors. More and more people are giving up smoking as rising numbers get fatter and fatter – and locking has accelerated that process. As a result, by 2040 obesity by smoking is expected to be a major cause of cancer prevention in women, a pattern that follows men a few years later.
Cancers that have been shown to benefit from improved physical activity include breast and bowel cancers. It has been found that those treated for primary tumors have a better chance of not returning their cancers if they exercise more often and have a better diet.
However, recent research has also revealed links between exercise and other cancers. In one recent experiment using mice, scientists, funded by Cancer Research UK, compared a group that led a sedentary life with another group that was placed on treadmills for 30 minutes, three times per week. The experts found that gentle exercise reduces liver inflammation levels, which can lead to tumors, and improves the metabolism of older mice, even in those with advanced liver disease.
In addition, the study, led by Professor Derek Mann, from Newcastle University Cancer Center, found that exercise mice had less fat in their liver and moved faster. “We wanted to see if exercise in mice – crucially, gentle exercise that could mirror exercise that can be performed for frail people – would help reverse the decline in immunity and reduce the risk of tumors. liver development, ”said Mann.
The research is important because liver cancer rates in humans have risen by three-fifths in the UK in the last decade, with 17 new cases being diagnosed every day, and rates expected to continue. going up. “Understanding how best to prevent some of these issues could have a significant impact on people at risk of the disease,” said Mann.
Another recent study by Cancer Research UK showed that more than 135,000 cases of cancer – about four out of 10 British cases – could be prevented largely each year through lifestyle changes, with increased physical activity of any kind plays a major role.
The important point is that excess fat doesn’t just sit quietly around our bodies, say researchers. It is active, sending signals to other organs and bones that affect growth, metabolism and reproductive cycles. These symptoms can tell the cells to divide more often, which can cause cancer.
“The real problem is getting too much fat in our bodies,” said Bauld. “However, there is a lot of evidence that helping people to be more active can do a lot of good. And there hasn’t been much research in this area so it’s very likely that there will be more benefits for cancer prevention through more physical activity that we don’t know about yet. “