Cancer is an extremely dangerous chronic disease which is responsible for over 7 million deaths worldwide each year. Currently, there is no cure for cancer and no exact cause has been established. However, a healthy lifestyle has been heavily linked with a reduced cancer risk. In addition to this, a healthy lifestyle is often cited as an effective cancer treatment. In this article I’m going to be taking a deeper look at the impact of exercise on cancer and whether it really can prevent and treat cancer.

Exercise & Cancer Prevention

The latest research suggests that exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes each day, 5 times a week can go a long way towards preventing cancer. The list below highlights some of the findings of these recent studies:

  • This study looked at over 100,000 cases of bowel cancer and concluded that people who exercised regularly were half as likely to get bowel cancer as non-exercisers.
  • This study looked at 1,504 women with breast cancer and 1,555 without, aged between 20 and 98 years old. It concluded that women who did any exercise were 6% less likely to develop breast cancer than non-active women and women who exercised for 10+ hours per week were 30% less likely to develop breast cancer than non-active women.
  • This article looked at 21 separate lung cancer studies and concluded that regular exercise can reduce a person’s lung cancer risk by around 20%.

Exercise & Cancer Treatment

In addition to preventing cancer, regular exercise may also be an effective treatment for cancer patients. The list below highlights some of the results of the studies into exercise as a cancer treatment:

  • This article looked at two studies and concluded that regular exercise can reduce your risk of dying from bowel cancer by around 50%.
  • This study looked at over 2,900 women with breast cancer and concluded that there was a direct relationship between exercise and breast cancer. It found that women who exercised moderately were 20% less likely to die from breast cancer while women who exercised heavily were 50% less likely to die from the disease.
  • This study looked at 2,705 men with prostate cancer and concluded that performing three or more hours of vigorous activity each week reduced the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 61% compared with men who performed less than one hour of vigorous exercise per week. 


While exercising regularly isn’t guaranteed to prevent or cure cancer, the available evidence shows that it definitely has a positive effect and can boost your cancer prevention and treatment efforts by as much as 60%. So if you’re currently a couch potato who is worried about cancer, now is the time to get active. Find an activity you enjoy, try and do it every day and help your body defend itself from this horrible disease.

This website puts documents at your disposal only and solely for information purposes. They can not in any way replace the consultation of a physician or the care provided by a qualified practitioner and should therefore never be interpreted as being able to do so.