Everyone hates to hear it — the “C” word. Sometimes cancer seems to strike indiscriminately, and there is no rhyme or reason for it. But researchers keep turning up risk factors and lifestyle connections — which means there ARE some things you can do to help prevent contracting some kinds of cancer.
Like colon cancer. We know already that a history of colitis or Crohn’s disease, a family history of colon cancer, and smoking are all risk factors for this particular type of cancer. A new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology has identified another risk factor — one that you can DO something about. It has to do with your waistline and exercise.
The study took place in the Netherlands and included 120,000 adult subjects studied for 16 years. About 2% of that number developed colon cancer.
So what were the weight-related risk factors? For men, the danger was 25% higher in obese or overweight men than their thinner peers. Their waist size seemed to matter most. Men who carried their weight in their belly had a 63% greater risk factor for contracting the disease.
Interestingly, the numbers were a little different for the women in the study. For them, the larger waistlines (size 16 and above) were linked to cancer only when the women got little exercise — less than a half-hour per day. They were 83% more likely to get colon cancer than women who exercised 90 minutes a day and had a smaller waistline.
Scientists couldn’t figure out why the numbers were different for women. One thing seems sure, though. Eating a healthy, low-glycemic diet and exercising daily will help cut down the risk for contracting colon cancer.
Just another reason for making smart choices.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown