Epidemiology of Physical Activity and Cancer Risk

  • Rebecca M. Speck
  • Kathryn H. Schmitz
  • I.-Min Lee
  • Anne McTiernan
Chapter
Part of the Energy Balance and Cancer book series (EBAC, volume 3)

Abstract

There is a large amount of epidemiological data derived from cohort and case–control studies regarding the association between physical activity and risk of developing cancer. Most of the evidence is available for breast and colon cancers. In summarizing the research to date, the effect of physical activity on colon cancer is a reduction in risk of 25% for men and women. The reduced risk of breast cancer across studies is a median 20%. A body of evidence is growing that supports a protective effect of physical activity for lung and endometrial cancers as well. Many studies have evaluated physical activity and prostate cancer risk; the evidence has been inconsistent. Physical fitness has been evaluated in cohort studies for its association with cancer mortality. Findings suggest that increased levels of physical fitness decrease the risk of cancer mortality by more than 50% in men. Evidence as to the association in women is limited, and additional research is needed in this area.

Keywords

Obesity Europe Estrogen Adenocarcinoma Aspirin 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca M. Speck
    • 1
  • Kathryn H. Schmitz
    • 2
  • I.-Min Lee
    • 3
  • Anne McTiernan
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyUniversity of Pennsylvania, School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Public Health SciencesFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA

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