The Unexamined Life

Physical Fitness Combats Lung And Bowel Cancers, Study Finds

A recent study claims that physical fitness improves helps prevent lung and bowel cancers. The researchers also discovered that those who already were at risk of these diseases but were deemed physically fit had greater chances of survival.

The paper published in the Wiley Online Library showcased a study done on 43,143 health system patients who engaged in exercise stress tests of fitness in a span of 18 years. Researchers found that physically fit persons were at a lower risk of developing lung and colorectal cancers. Those aged 40 to 70 years old who were not suffering from any type of cancer were subjected to fitness assessments. The procedure followed measured the cardiovascular fitness in metabolic equivalents of task (METs).

According to the study’s author and assistant professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Dr. Catherine Handy Marshall, their output was one of the first studies that analyzed the largest and most diverse groups of people, making their findings very reliable. Dr. Marshall asserted that their findings would aid in correlating the impact of fitness with the risks of cancer. Their study also covered those who were already suffering from lung and bowel cancers.

Another study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine claimed that cardiorespiratory fitness is an effective means of measurement to ascertain habitual physical activity and this could aid in predicting overall health. It was suggested that those who engaged in regular exercises improved their cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced men and women’s risk of death from all illnesses of cardiovascular causes.

Dr. Marshall and her colleagues, however, contradicted the other study’s findings and said that there is still more research needed to confirm that cardiorespiratory fitness leads to lower risk of and greater survival from lung and colorectal cancers.

As per the American Lung Association, around half a million people in the U.S. have been found to suffer lung cancer. It was even highlighted that lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in 2016. On the other hand, the American Cancer Society revealed that colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer deaths in 2019. Moreover, the disease is predicted to cause 51,020 deaths this year.