A major scientific review of laboratory and clinic data has been published this month on the evidence fro exercise and caner, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by  Professor Stacey Kenfield from Southern California and scientists from the Biological and Exercise department in Coventry University.  The paper describes and explains the important biochemical changes which occur after exercise and how these help fight cancer.

Direct effects of exercise and cancer?

Exercise produces numerous transitory and longer term biochemical changes which can protect the body from carcinogens which cause genetic mutations, help repair damage to cells preventing cancer cell formation and help prevent the growth and spread of caner cells once they have formed. In summary, the follow changes can occur:

Reduces chronic inflammation
Improves pathways of DNA repair
Reduces serum oestrogen and testosterone – in the long term
Reduces insulin like growth factor levels
Reduces insulin resistance
Encourages cancer cells to kill themselves (apoptosis)
Increases Irisin and reduces VIP levels
Reduces Oxidative stress and enhances antioxidant pathways

Indirect anti cancer effects of exercise?

Exercise can fight cancer via by helping to improve the health of other bodily systems which indirectly influence biochemical pathways:

Helps reduce weight
Increases vitamin D levels – if exercising outdoors
Improves psychology health and mood