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Let’s Get Physical – And Avoid Cancer

Let’s Get Physical – And Avoid Cancer

The Cancer Society says being physically active is one of the easiest ways kiwis can dramatically reduce cancer statistics in New Zealand.

In support of tomorrow’s Push Play Day, coordinated by SPARC, (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) the Cancer Society is highlighting research which shows physical activity could reduce the chance of developing some cancers by up to 50 percent.

For example, regular physical activity could reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer by between 40 and 50 percent according to a study by the University of Bristol. The effect on breast cancer could be a 30 percent reduction in risk, with even stronger effects in postmenopausal women, says Cancer Society health promotion programme manager Carolyn Watts.

The Cancer Society has produced a leaflet in association with SPARC, which it released today to emphasise the benefits of being physically active in reducing cancer risk.

“Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of developing bowel or breast cancer. Between a quarter and one third of these cancers are directly related to being overweight and not doing enough physical activity.

“The Cancer Society supports SPARC’s Push Play message – 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week,” Ms Watts says.

According to the Bristol University research, released last month, physical activity can not only cut the risk of bowel cancer and help prevent breast, prostate, lung and endometrial cancer, it can also improve the quality of life of people who are being treated for cancer.

“Physical activity is coming into its own as a primary means of preventing cancer and improving cancer survival,” Ms Watts says. “It’s one of the decisions we all make that has the biggest impact on whether or not we develop cancer, along with whether or not we smoke and what kinds of foods we eat.”

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