Exercise can cut womb cancer risk

Women who regularly work up a sweat exercising have a 30 per cent lower risk of developing endometrial cancer, a new study says.

LONDON — Women who regularly work up a sweat exercising have a 30 per cent lower risk of developing endometrial cancer, a new study says.

Researchers at the United States’ National Cancer Institute analyzed 14 previous studies and found physical activity cuts the risk of endometrial cancer by 20 to 40 per cent when compared to sedentary women. The study was published online Wednesday in the British Journal of Cancer. It was paid for by the National Cancer Institute. Scientists have long known that exercise cuts your risk of cancers including the breast, colon, esophagus and kidney. Excess body fat sometimes leads to higher hormone levels, which in turn, may elevate the risk of cancer. “We already knew that maintaining a healthy body weight is an important way to reduce the risk of womb cancer, but our study showed that physical activity has a protective effect of its own,” said Steven Moore of the institute. But experts still aren’t sure exactly how much activity is needed to lower their risk. One study showed more than 20 per cent of womb cancers could have been avoided if women had exercised vigorously for about 20 minutes at least five times a week.