Regular, Aerobic Exercise Significantly Reduces Markers of Increased Colon-Cancer Risk in Men

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Colon Cancer and Exercise

Regular, moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise significantly reduces a risk factor associated with the formation of colon polyps and colon cancer in men, according to a study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The findings, from the first randomized clinical trial to test the effect of exercise on colon-cancer biomarkers in colon tissue, appear in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

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"In men who met the study's exercise prescription of an hour of aerobic activity per day, six days a week for a year, we saw a substantial decrease in the amount of cellular proliferation in the areas of the colon that are most vulnerable to colon cancer," said lead author Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., an internist and epidemiologist who directs the Hutchinson Center's Prevention Center. "However, we found that even four hours or more of exercise weekly was enough to produce a significant benefit," she said.

Specifically, the researchers saw a decrease in the number of actively dividing cells, or cellular proliferation, within the colonic crypts

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