Exercise protects against cancer...

Have a look at the BBC Health website if you get a chance. Yet more evidence of the beneficial effects of regular exercise, as if we needed telling. Postmenopausal women in Germany who cycled regularly in their youth are less likely to get breast cancer than those who didn't. It's thought that these benefits don't just come from cycling, it's just that people tend to remember cycling more than other forms of exercise (? can this be true?). Anyway, good news, huh?


  • My main memory of cycling is hitting things!
  • They've never hung around for me to hit them.
  • Take what you read with a pinch of salt. If they knew what prevented cancer I wouldn't be where I am now. I was very fit and exercised everday - either walking (not just dawdling around but walking the dog 6-7 miles a day) AND running AND going to a gym AND cycling and yet I have got/had cancer.
  • Oh and just in case you wondered - it was breast cancer
  • It says "less likely to get", not "makes it impossible to get".

    In other words just because one person who exercises regularly got breast cancer, it's no reason to doubt the research. There may of course be other reasons, I haven't read the piece yet.
  • Iain -- the only people "less likely to get" breast cancer are the people included in the study. Yep, I've not read it yet either - but I find it difficult to believe that something as wide and variable as exercise and it's effects therewith can be generalised to the population as a whole of Post-menopausal women. Statistics are as wide and as variable and as applicable to anything not just cancer. I find it insulting that someone posts that exercise can prevent cancer - imagine how that makes people like me feel!! You post something like that on a runner's site - you're trying to teach your granny to suck eggs - preaching to the wrong people, if you get my drift. Itshould be posted to people who sit about on their backsides all day and whinge about why they got cancer.
  • I'm not clear why you find it offensive - the post (presumably quoting the report) said that the group who exercised regularly were less likely to get cancer. It didn't in any way (or not how I read it) imply that you hadn't exercised or anything like that.

    Even if it is generalisable (and I can't comment on that without reading it) it does still come down to probabilities - even research that's done well does, so inevitably there'll be exceptions to the "rule".

    I aslo didn't take it as preaching - more as another reason for us to feel good that we did exercise, although obviously I can see that there is a very obvious irony about it in your case Cath :-)
  • Iain -- you missed the point I was making which is possibly due to my poor grammar and sentence construction right now (chemo brain! as it is often referred to by patients).

    I feel offended by being told that exercise is likely to help prevent cancer because in my case (and hundreds of thousands of others, Jane Tomlinson being one) it didn't. I found it offensive because I post on a runners site. I look for inspiration. I look for hope. I don't want to be told something which obviously didn't help me the first time.

    Yep, you're right that runner's are to be congratulated on exercising and thereby having a less likely chance of contracting cancer. However, what about those people who already do it and still got it..? Are those people to be forgotten..?

    Yeah it's great that you and other people who exercise feel good at doing something beneficial (exercise)... but what I'm trying to say is although it is beneficial (as undoubtedly it is) it doesn't always prevent things happening and I wish people would spare a thought when posting halleluiah messages like this. I for one can do without people saying 'isn't this great, we exercise so it doesn't include us'. Not only that, someone without any sense could read the said piece and think, 'well, I run, I'm okay then, I won't get cancer'. How would they feel then if they did get it..? Iain, there are always going to be people like me who don't have any reason in their history for contracting cancer - stuff like this makes it hard for people like me. I did my bloody best. Okay I'd only just restarted running but I was fit and healthy and exercised daily anyway prior to that (remember the walking).

    When I recuperate I will continue to walk, run, go to the gym, swim and cycle - but I know it won't have any effect on whether I get a recurrence or not. What it does do and has done, is allows my body to be fitter and more able to cope with treatments.

    Plus, studies like this, especially with breast cancer (why is it always bloody breast cancer?) don't take into account the varying types of cancer that can occur. For example older women get breast cancer more frequently yes, but they have a more treatable form of it. Younger women (like me) under 35, only occur as 2% of all cases but they have the evil wicked type which kills as soon as look at you and often treatments don't make a blind bit of difference to their 5 year outcome!!

    What I'm saying is, I find this kind of post frustrating, especially as yes, I did have cancer and to be honest I don't see why I should just ignore it and not say my piece. I think 'irony' is putting a fine light point on how I feel about my cancer Iain. But thanks for the 'debate' anyway.
  • Cath I think fairy feet was just highlighting an interesting piece of research. (although as ususall it is probably crap and the fact that they exersized regurlarly may relate to social class, diet etc. which relates to risk of cancer)
    However if I came on saying eating lots of fruit has again been shown to reduce the risk of cancer I would hope you wouldn't take offence.
    Life just ain't fair sometimes! Please don't get upset at this.
    Have a hug instead!

    Virtual hug to cath....


  • I'm not upset BBB - it's not so much Fairy Feet I'm cheesed off at - it's the media portrayals of research like this which irks me. I just thought for once 'why the hell should I keep my gob shut..?'

    oh and did you hear grapes help with radiation treatment side effects

  • Would that be in a bottle Cath ? ;-)

    It must be annoying for you - as always the media simplifies things. By being fit, you might have a smaller chance of getting cancer, but don't know how much lessened the risk is ? V v v small ?

    And being supremely fit is no guarantee either. Lance Armstrong anyone ?

    So basically - any one of us can get it.

    (Oh anyone see that Britains Strongest Man has just popped his clogs at 30 ?)
  • Cougie -- hee! that made me laugh and no apparently it's in capsule form grapeseed oil :)

    Oh and re Britain's Strongest Man - how awful, has he really..? Oh dear what a shame. Do you know what caused it..?
  • Not fermented ? Ay Caramba !

    No idea. I'm not a real doctor ya know ! ;-)

    Often wondered how those guys get soooooo big. Can they do it all naturally d'ya think ? I'm sure I couldn't be that size if I lifted weights all day long.
  • Just wondered :)

    Aaahh well, should go and get tea really - having not eaten properly for 3 weeks am getting peckish now that am getting better :)

    later gators
  • Cath - I'm so, so sorry to have upset you! I didn't discover your thread until after I had posted my original message. I have read it over the past couple of evenings, and have been humbled and inspired by your bravery and strength. I certainly didn't mean to imply that getting cancer was your fault - or anybody else's, for that matter.
    I was simply trying to share what I thought at the time was a piece of good news. I hope you can forgive my insensitivity, and I am so glad to hear from your thread that you seem finally to be getting to the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Well the air seems to have cleared a lot while I was out, which I'm glad about because I didn't really feel like writing the response to your reply to my last post :-)

    Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't sympathise with your frustration at how you've had to deal with all this crap in spite of doing all the right things. I just felt that some of the things you appeared to be saying weren't justified, and to be honest now that I've read your post at the top of this page I understand more of where you're coming from - but that wasn't how it looked to me when I started replying.

    I totally agree about media simplification - part of the reason I haevn't even bothered looking at the piece is that I'm 99% certain it won't contain the level of detail I'd want to allow me to make any kind of judgement about the design of the study. I don't have the medical knowledge to really understand it anyhow, but I can often spot flaws in the design of the research having done plenty of (non-medical) research) myself.

    It was actually for a similar reason that I posted my original reply - to challenge the idea that because someone knows of one (or even ten or a hundred) people that exercise that who got cancer that it means the theory is invalid, whereas it doesn't. This seems to be quite a common misconseption, I suspect brought about by the fact that a lot of science is simplified in the media etc. I wanted to challenge that misconception, and I stand by that statement. It was never meant in any way as a personal attack or to piss you off. I thought quite hard before posting it, and decided to go ahead as I knew my motives were genuine.

    I hope there's no hard feelings?
  • Anne -- don't be daft - it wasn't so much you I was annoyed about, it's how flippantly the media treat new research. If they read it properly, they often misrepresent it or if they don't read it properly, misrepresentaion occurs anyway. I was frustrated because I've heard just about EVERYTHING curse or prevents or helps to cure breast cancer and alot if it is simply rubbish! So don't worry!

    Iain -- likewise don't be daft! You should know me by now, if I have something to say, I'll say it as I said and as you put so eloquently, my main beef is how in particular medical research is often misrepresented in the media! I knew pretty much in your first post it wasn't a personal attack on me but text is a difficult medium to assess isn't it! So no hard feelings and no worries about your view point... this is what disussion is all about accepting that someone else has an opposing or different view from yourself and learning to accept the differences. (George W and Saddam could learn alot from us I reckon!!!) I knew what you were saying about 'just because one or a hundred people exercise and still get cancer doesn't invalidate the research' but also my viewpoint was that I wanted my frustration taken seriously for those people who do exercise and it does still occur... if you know what I mean!

    I'm not at my best conversationally right now so what I say, comes out arse backwards sometimes and sounds confusing. I try though :o)

    Thanks Guys :o)
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