Too much sitting may lower odds of surviving colon cancer

January 23, 2013 by Steven Reinberg, Healthday Reporter
Too much sitting may lower odds of surviving colon cancer
Study also found that staying active reduced the risk of dying.

(HealthDay)—People diagnosed with colorectal cancer who spend a lot of their leisure time sitting have a higher risk of dying, according to researchers at the American Cancer Society.

People who are physically active, however, have a better chance of surviving than those who aren't, the researchers said.

"One factor might be that people who are physically active might be developing a less aggressive tumor," said lead researcher Peter Campbell, director of the society's Tumor Repository.

In addition, being physically fit may help people as they undergo treatment, he said.

Exercise improves cardiovascular and muscle fitness, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and improves , Campbell noted. "Some of these factors would lead quite clearly to better tolerance for getting through surgery or other treatments," he said.

Campbell said the connection between sitting and dying isn't well understood.

"The sitting time is a little more speculative," Campbell said. "We do understand that sitting for long periods can lead to worse insulin and glucose profiles [measurements]. These worse and glucose [measurements] can feed a tumor and increase risk of recurrence and death."

There is also evidence that long periods of sitting increases "oxidative stress" on the body's cells and worsens hormone balances, he added.

The new results need to be replicated before they can be considered definitive, but they are consistent with what is seen in non-, Campbell said. Although the study suggests an association between exercise and better outcomes, it did not prove cause and effect. Many studies, however, have found this association not only for cancer, but for and other conditions.

Moreover, the benefits of exercise in maintaining normal body weight and improving strength and are indisputable and add to overall health, Campbell said.

The report was published Jan. 22 in the .

For the study, Campbell's team collected data on nearly 2,300 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer that had not spread beyond the colon. During 16 years of follow-up, more than 800 patients died, nearly 400 of them from colorectal cancer and the rest from other causes.

After examining the data, Campbell's group found that people who exercised the most—such as walking 150 minutes a week—had about a 28 percent lower risk of dying compared to those who exercised less.

Sitting six hours or more a day during was linked to a 36 percent increased risk of dying compared to sitting less than three hours a day, the study found.

"I think this applies to more than colon cancer, because what they are describing is all-cause mortality not just mortality from colon cancer," said Dr. David Bernstein, a gastroenterologist and chief of the division of hepatology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

"They are reinforcing that exercise and physical activity is associated with a lower risk of dying and it's better for you than just sitting there doing nothing," he said. "The body was meant to move around."

Explore further: Too much sitting raises risk for cancer

More information: To learn more about colon cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

Related Stories

Too much sitting raises risk for cancer

November 8, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- If you spend most of your day sitting in front of the television or the computer, you may want to change your habits. A new study presented last week at the American Institute for Cancer Research Annual ...

Sitting for hours daily might boost your kidney disease risk: study

October 3, 2012
(HealthDay)—People who spend a lot of time sitting are at increased risk for kidney disease, according to a new study.

Stand up: Study provides new evidence on the harms of prolonged sitting

March 26, 2012
Standing up more often may reduce your chances of dying within three years, even if you are already physically active, a study of more than 200,000 people published in Archives of Internal Medicine today shows.

Recommended for you

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

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.