Obesity and exercise may affect bowel cancer risk

27 February 2013

People who are obese could be at a higher risk of developing a certain type of bowel cancer while exercise lowers the risk, a study suggests.

Researchers in the US analysed data from thousands of men and women to determine if there was a link between weight, exercise and the risk for CTNNB1-positive or CTNNB1-negative bowel, or colorectal, cancer.

A higher body mass index (BMI) was linked to an increased risk of CTNNB1-negative colorectal cancer, while physical activity was associated with a lower risk.

Both BMI and physical activity had no effect on the risk for CTNNB1-positive colorectal cancer, according to the research pubished in the journal Cancer Research.

Dr. Shuji Ogino, an associate professor of pathology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an associate professor in the department of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, said the results provided further evidence for a causal role of obesity and a physically inactive lifestyle in this specific type of bowel cancer.

"If physicians are able to identify individuals who are prone to develop CTNNB1-negative cancer, then it would be possible to strongly recommend physical activity," he said.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with 40,695 people receiving a bowel cancer diagnosis in 2010, according to Cancer Research UK data.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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