Being active reduces risk of prostate cancer
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Being active reduces risk of prostate cancer

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A large-scale study on genetics has shown that being more physically active reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

A study of 140,000 men found that those with a variation in their DNA sequence that makes them more likely to be active had a 51 per cent reduced risk of prostate cancer, when compared to those who didn't have the variation.

Importantly, the findings related to overall physical activity, not just intense exercise.

Conducted by the University of Bristol, the research is based on the largest ever study to use genetics as a measurement for physical activity and its effect on prostate cancer.

Of the men included in the study, 80,000 had prostate cancer.

"This study is the largest-ever of its kind which uses a relatively new method that complements current observational research to discover what causes prostate cancer," said Sarah Lewis the study's senior author and lecturer in genetic epidemiology at Bristol Medical School: Population Health Sciences.

"It suggests that there could be a larger effect of physical activity on prostate cancer than previously thought, so will hopefully encourage men to be more active."

Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology the study was co-funded by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and Cancer Research UK.

Dr Anna Diaz Font, head of research funding at WCRF, added: "Up till now, there has only been limited evidence of an effect of physical activity on prostate cancer.

"This new study looked at the effect of 22 risk factors on prostate cancer, but the results for physical activity were the most striking.

"This will pave the way for even more research, where similar methods could be applied to other lifestyle factors, to help identify ways men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer."

• To read the full report, click here for the Journal of Epidemiology

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