Prevent cancer by being fit!

Being Fit Can Protect Against Developing, Dying of Cancer!

Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) appears to be a strong independent predictor of not only developing 2 common cancers, but also the prognosis.

The risk of developing both lung and colorectal cancer were decreased by 68% and 38%, respectively, in men with the highest levels of fitness, as compared with those who were the least fit, according to a new study.

A high level of fitness was also associated with a 14% reduction in cancer-specific mortality, and a 23% reduction in cardiovascular-specific mortality.


Dr. Lakoski presented the findings of her research at a press briefing held in advance of the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology® (ASCO).


The cohort included 17,049 men (mean age, 50 years) who had received a single cardiovascular fitness assessment as part of a specialized preventive health check-up visit that was offered at the Cooper Institute, in Dallas, Texas. Performance was recorded in established units of fitness called metabolic equivalents (METs). The participants were then separated into 5 quintiles according to their fitness performance.

Medicare claims were then subsequently analyzed to identify the participants who had developed lung, colorectal, or prostate cancer. The mean times from their initial CRF assessment to cancer incidence and death were 20.2 ± 8.2 years and 24.4 ± 8.5 years, respectively. During this time period, a total of 2885 men were diagnosed with prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer (2332 with prostate cancer, 276 with colorectal cancer, and 277 with lung cancer).

Within the study period, a total of 769 men died of all-cause mortality, with 347 of those deaths due to cancer, and 159 to cardiovascular disease.


Compared with men in the lowest CRF quintile, the adjusted hazard ratio for lung and colorectal cancer incidence among men in the highest CRF quintile was 0.32 and 0.62 respectively.

Even a small improvement in fitness levels (1-MET increase in CRF) was associated with a 14% reduction in cancer-specific mortality.

Everyone Can Benefit!

The study authors also found that that even if the men weren’t obese, those who had low fitness had an increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“This suggests that everyone can benefit from improving their fitness,” said Dr. Swain, who served as a comoderator of the briefing.


via Being Fit Can Protect Against Developing, Dying of Cancer.

Fit physicians more likely to encourage patients to be active!

Its so common to be advised by a Physician to exercise for good health. But have you ever asked a Physician if he exercises?

Healthcare providers who were physically fit themselves—were more likely to encourage their patients to make regular physical activity a part of a healthy lifestyle, researchers report.

Their findings, based on a literature review of 24 observational and four interventional studies, were presented at EPI|NPAM 2013, the Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

Lead author Isabel Garcia de Quevedo (CDC, Atlanta, GA) found that  “being more active [yourself, as a healthcare provider] . . . gives you the tools to give better counseling.”

The researchers identified 28 studies of how physical-activity habits of healthcare providers were related to counseling patients about physical activity. The fitness habits of the studied healthcare providers—physicians, nurses, pharmacists, others, and nursing and medical students—significantly influenced the likelihood that they would take time to counsel patients about fitness.

Physicians who exercised were more likely to counsel about exercise. They were more confident and efficient about this counselling about this health habit than their sedentary counterparts.

Physicians can be positive role models. McCrindle, who does triathlons among other activities, noted that patients “are more likely to view healthy lifestyle advice in a positive manner if the physicians themselves look like they are following their own advice.”

When counseling patients, healthcare providers should share their personal fitness stories, which can help motivate patients and make the physician seem more human. “Patients will react to a personal story . . . rather than [simply being told] “you should do this, and this is how you should do it,” McCrindle noted.

Be active thyself  before advising thy patients!

via Fit physicians more likely to encourage patients to be active |