If you smoked in your former life you may be concerned about paying for that later with lung cancer. Well, if that's the case, please read on. Because some recent research just came out that shows you how something simple can substantially reduce your risk.
Researchers looked at a total of 18 different published studies on lung cancer. The studies involved a total of more than two million men and women. Out of that group, 26,453 developed lung cancer. Then they compared the different rates of cancer between the men and women who exercised heavily and those who just had a very active lifestyle to those who had a sedentary lifestyle. What they discovered is probably going to surprise you.
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What won't surprise you is the fact that the people who exercised the most had the lowest risk for lung cancer — 25% less likely on average. But the interesting thing was that those who did not exercise heavily, but who just lead a very active lifestyle did almost as well — 21% less likely.
What's really interesting about this study concerns those who have never smoked. The researchers found that exercise and activity did not reduce the risk for those who have never smoked. That's surprising. So what's the take home message here?
Exercise is great for reducing your risk of every disease there is. And in general, the more you exercise and the more fit you are, the less your chances of dying from all causes. That said, the results of this study are especially reassuring for those of us who have smoked in our former lives. Even something as simple as having an active lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer in that group.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Zhong S, Ma T, et al. Physical Activity and Risk of Lung Cancer: A Meta-analysis. Clin J Sport Med. 2015 Jul 24.