Inactivity has been shown to increase the risks of colon and breast cancer. Physical activity is effective at maintaining body weight, with obesity being a well-known risk factor for a number of malignancies. Women tend to be more inactive than men, older individuals more inactive than younger, minorities more inactive than whites, and those with lower income more inactive than those with higher incomes. Approximately 28 to 31% of men report doing no physical activity, as compared to 33% of women. Activity in adolescent females and women in their 20’s seems to decrease estrogen production, thought to be a risk factor for cancers of the breast and uterus.
While hard data regarding physical activity and cancer prevention is limited, the soft data suggests that physical activity should be included in your cancer-prevention efforts.