One of the most common tumors to strike U.S. women is endometrial cancer. It starts in the cells of the endometrium, the uterus lining, where fetal development occurs. It is sometimes called “uterine cancer,” but this isn’t technically correct, as other cells in the uterus can become cancerous on their own.
The first symptom of endometrial cancer is generally vaginal bleeding not associated with menstruation. The important signs to watch for so that cancer can be battled as early as possible include bleeding post-menopause, abnormal discharge from vagina, pelvic pain, unintended weight loss, and pain during intercourse.
Okay, now for a new study that cuts through to a solid preventative step for all women. Researchers found that women who exercise for 150 minutes a week or more may see a reduced risk of endometrial cancer, regardless of whether their weight is higher than optimal. It was presented at last week’s “AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference.”
The study is consistent with others that firmly support the association between physical activity and a lower risk of endometrial cancer. In it, Yale University researchers examined data collected from a case-control study that included 668 women with endometrial cancer. Those were matched with 665 control women who did not have such cancer.
The study discovered that women exercising for two-and-a-half hours or more a week had a 34% reduced risk of endometrial cancer compared to women who were inactive. This link proved to be stronger among active women with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 — or underweight women, where the reduced risk was 73%.
It seems exercise will help those whose weight is outside the optimal zone even more considerably than others. Still, though, even active women showed a 52% lower risk of endometrial cancer.
Exercise is clearly a critical lifestyle choice for anyone seeking to protect themselves from disease. Only engage in physical activity that meets your limits and is safe. If you have mild osteoporosis, for instance, or any health condition that may be impacted by exercise, be sure to be careful and consult your doctor about an exercise regimen suitable for your particular situation.