Colon Cancer

Healthplex Blog

Colon Cancer & Physical Activity

March is colon cancer awareness month. This cause is incredibly close to my heart and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to not only do more research on the disease but to share another prospective.

My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in March 2016. She passed away late December that same year. There’s really no way to sugarcoat cancer- it’s terrible and millions of people are diagnosed each year with different types. One thought I kept coming back to throughout her battle was what if she had been more active?

There is an incredible amount of research that supports the notion that physical activity, or lack there of, correlates with the progression of cancer. Colon cancer happens to be one of the more extensively studied cancers in relation to physical activity. On average, there is a 24% lower risk of colon cancer among physically active individuals than those who are sedentary. Exercise lowers the levels of hormones, like insulin and estrogen, as well as other growth factors that have been linked to cancer development. It also is less likely that someone who is physically active would be obese and obesity has been a huge component of cancer due to the development of insulin resistance.

Physical activity has been proven to not only help decrease the risk of colon cancer, but to help those who are battling and those who are recovering. At least 30 minutes a day of exercise is recommended by most doctors. Getting into a structured, reliable and supportive program is key to keeping up with your exercise routine. A study done by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen suggests that 23% of colorectal cancers are preventable just by adhering to a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity.

Physical activity is about far more than being fit. It’s a way to prolong you life, decrease your risk of diseases like cancer and prevent numerous other health risks. I urge everyone to consider this the next time they pass up joining a gym or taking a walk on a sunny day. It may seem like a dramatic connection, but if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have let my mom sit inside reading more than hiking.

Physical activity gives LIFE.