A healthy lifestyle helps you survive bowel cancer

August 30, 2013

Women diagnosed with colorectal cancer who are physically active, don't smoke and aren't overweight or obese have dramatically improved survival rates, according to a new study by the UWA-affiliated Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR).

The research by Dr Terry Boyle, who works in the Epidemiology group under Professor Lin Fritschi at WAIMR, looked at 879 colorectal cancer patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2007.

Although both men and women took part in the study, Dr Boyle said the female patients showed the most pronounced results.

"We found that women's lifestyles during the years before they were diagnosed with colorectal cancer had a strong impact on their survival rate afterwards," Dr Boyle said.

"Women who were physically active were around 60% less likely to die during the follow-up period than inactive women," he said. "We also found that women who smoked were three times as likely to die from colorectal cancer compared with patients who had never smoked.

"Our figures also showed that overweight and obese women had almost twice the risk of dying, compared with women of a normal weight."

While the average colorectal was diagnosed at around 65 years of age, the questionnaire asked about old and recent habits, including the amount of physical activity performed recently and over the lifetime, smoking history, and height and weight at different ages.

"This study adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that , particularly physical activity, have an important role in the prognosis of colorectal cancer," Dr Boyle said.

The paper, "Lifestyle factors associated with survival after colorectal ," has been published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Related Stories

Exercise cuts bowel cancer risk

January 4, 2012

Researchers at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) have found people who engage in vigorous physical activity may be protected against types of colorectal ...

Colon cancer discovery could take treatment up a notch

August 7, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) have made an exciting discovery which may lead to more effective chemotherapy treatments of colorectal cancer patients.

Recommended for you

Study reveals new insight into DNA repair

August 3, 2015

DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the worst possible form of genetic malfunction that can cause cancer and resistance to therapy. New information published this week reveals more about why this occurs and how these breaks ...

Strange circular DNA may offer new way to detect cancers

July 30, 2015

Strange rings of DNA that exist outside chromosomes are distinct to the cell types that mistakenly produced them, researchers have discovered. The finding raises the tantalizing possibility that the rings could be used as ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.