Exercise may cut uterine cancer risk in heavy women

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In overweight or obese women, physical activity, even at light or moderate intensities, lowers the risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer), according to findings from the American Cancer Society’s prospective Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort study.

Dr. Alpa V. Patel and colleagues at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta identified 466 women who developed endometrial cancer between 1992 and 2003 among approximately 43,000 older “postmenopausal” women.

In the latest issue of the International Journal of Cancer, Patel and colleagues report that all measures of physical activity and “avoidance of sedentary behavior” were strongly associated with reduced risk of endometrial cancer in women who were overweight or obese.

Questionnaire responses showed that physically active women engaged primarily in low- to moderate-intensity activities, such as walking, biking, aerobics or dancing, equivalent to about 2 hours of moderately paced walking per week.

Patel’s team calls for more research into the link between light-intensity activity and endometrial cancer risk reduction in order to “strengthen public health recommendations in this regard.”

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, October 15, 2008.

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