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According to a study published in Cancer magazine, playing sports reduces the risk of developing lung or colorectal cancer.

A benefit of sport that was previously unsuspected. The results of a study published on May 6 in the journal Cancer reveal that physical activity would significantly reduce the risk of lung or colorectal cancer and also increase the chances of survival (1). 49,143 people, aged 40 to 70, participated in this American study, which lasted 18 years between 1991 and 2009.


61 to 77% less risk

While other factors such as age, origins, gender, body mass index, smoking history and diabetes are taken into account, "the results show that a high cardiorespiratory condition is correlated with a decreased risk of lung tumour and colorectal cancer in both men and women," describes the authors. Indeed, the subjects in the study with the most intense sporting activity had a reduced lung cancer risk of 77% and a 61% decrease in colorectal cancer risk (1).


Mortality reduced from 44 to 89 %

In addition, the researchers highlighted that good physical fitness is also associated with "a lower risk of death from all causes in people with lung or colorectal cancer". Indeed, among the study participants who developed lung cancer, people in better physical condition, before being diagnosed with cancer, had a reduced risk of mortality of 44%. The risk fell by 89% in colorectal cancer cases (1). These results are even more significant because they are "based on one of the largest and most diversified cohorts ever formed," says Dr. Handy Marshall.



(1) Marshall C.H. et al. Cardiorespiratory fitness and incident lung and colorectal cancer in men and women : Results from the Henry Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) cohort. Cancer. 2019 May 6. Doi : 10.1002/cncr.32085.