(RxWiki News) While it's not always known exactly how exercise helps counteract cancer, having proof on a genetic level adds a fairly convincing argument to the many benefits of working up a sweat.
Researchers found that over 180 various genes known to play a role in fighting cancer were more active when study participants exercised vigorously for more than three hours a week.
"Exercise every week; the benefits are limitless."
In a study looking at 70 men with prostate cancer, a team from the University of California found that many genes associated with DNA repair and tumor suppressing had higher levels of activity when the participant was involved in some form of cardio, such as playing tennis, swimming or jogging.
The effect was not as great when participants preferred walking.
“We previously reported that prostate cancer patients who exercise tend to fare better after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and now we are trying to understand why,” said senior author June Chan, Ph.D, from the University of California, noting that "These preliminary data suggest that ... vigorous physical activity may protect against prostate cancer progression.”
While the results are consistent with former studies published on the advantages of exercise, Dr. Chan went on to say her findings need to be studied on a larger scale before definite conclusions can be reached.
Results were presented at the 2012 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. Research is considered preliminary until results are published in a peer reviewed journal.
No financial conflicts of interest were disclosed.