Exercise Powerfully Reduces Cancer Risk

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Researchers at the University of Tromsø in Norway report that women who exercise regularly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer substantially. Their study involved more than 25,000 women age twenty to fifty-four at the time of their energy into the study. The researchers found that younger, premenopausal women (under forty-five years old) who exercised regularly had 62 percent less risk than sedentary women. The risk reduction was highest for lean women who exercised more than four hours per week; these women had a 72 percent reduction in risk.

Diet and exercise have a much more important role to play in cancer prevention than mammograms and other detection methods. Keep in mind that mammograms merely detect, not prevent, cancer; they show disease only after the cancerous cells have been proliferating for many years.1 By that time the majority of cancers have already spread from their local site and surgically removing the tumor is not curative. Only a minority of women have their breast cancers detected by a mammogram have their survival increased because of the earlier detection.2 The majority would have done just as well to find it later. I am not aiming to discourage women ages fifty to sixty-five from having mammograms; rather, my message is that this alone is insufficient. Mammograms, which do nothing to prevent breast cancer, are heavily publicized, while women hear nothing else about what they can do to prevent and protect themselves against breast cancer in the first place.

Do not underestimate the effect of a superior diet on gradually removing and repairing damage caused by years of self-abuse. Do not be discouraged just because you cannot bring your risk down to zero because of your mistakes in the past. The same thing could be said for cigarette smokers. Should they not quit smoking, merely because their risk of lung cancer can’t be brought down to zero when they quit? Actually, lung cancer rates are considerably lower (about one-fifth) in countries that have a high vegetable consumption, even though they may smoke like crazy.3 Raw fruits and vegetables offer powerful protection; leafy greens are the most protective.4

My main point is that our population has been ignoring those interventions that can most effectively save lives. We search for more answers because the ones we have found are not to our liking. Our most powerful artillery on the war against breast cancer, and cancer in general, is to follow the overall advice presented in my book Eat to Live and begin at as young an age as possible. 1. Peer, P.G., J.A. can Dijck, J.H. Hendriks, et al. 1993. Age dependent growth rate of primary breast cancer. Cancer 71 (11): 3547-51.

2. Wright, C.J., and C.B. Mueller 1995. Screening mammography and public health policy: the need for perspective. Lancet 346 (8966): 29-32; Neugut, A.I., and J.S. Jacobson. 1995. The limitations of breast cancer screening for first-degree relatives of breast cancer patients. Am. J. Public Health 85 (6): 832-34; Olsen, O., P.C. Gotzzsche. 2001. Cochrane review on screening for breast cancer with mammography. Lancet 358: 1340-42.

3. Le Marchand, L., J. H. Hankin, F. Bach. Et al. 1995. An ecological study of diet and lung cancer in the South Pacific. Int. J. Cancer 63 (1): 18-23.

4. Gao, C.M., K. Tajima, T. Kuroishi, et al. 1993. Protective effects of raw vegetables and fruit against lung cancer among smokers and ex-smokers: a case-control study in the Tokai area of Japan. Japan J. Cancer Res. 84 (6): 594-600.
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row - July 14, 2006 1:42 PM

thanks again for the daily posts.

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