Daily exercise minimises colon cancer risk
MORE emphasis needs to be placed on the importance of daily exercise in the prevention of colon cancer, experts say.
The call follows new US research showing only 15% of 2932 respondents to the 2005 US Health Information National Trends Survey listed physical activity as a means of reducing colon cancer risk.
The researchers said this was concerning, given data showed a lack of physical activity accounted for 14% of US colon cancer cases, a higher proportion than could be attributed to Western diet (12%), regular aspirin or NSAID intake (12%) or family history of colon cancer (8 per cent).
They estimated that active individuals had a 30%-40% lower risk of developing the disease compared to sedentary individuals.
Professor Finlay Macrae, head of colorectal medicine and genetics at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, believed the picture would be similar in Australia.
He said the evidence supported current Australian colorectal cancer guidelines, which recommend 30-60 minutes of exercise per day as a primary prevention of colon cancer. He highlighted the role of health professionals in disseminating this message.
“Behavioural psychologists could address ways to engage patients through general practice in exercise programs,” he said.