Regular fitness exercise can have a dramatic effect in lowering the risk of the most common gynecologic malignancy: uterine cancer, which is also known as endometrial cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, women who exercise on a daily basis can cut their risk for uterine cancer by half when compared to women who do not.1
Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee found in a study that regular fitness exercise as well as routine activities such as walking for transportation or performing household chores can reduce a woman’s risk for endometrial cancer by as much as 30–40%.2 The study also revealed that the uterine cancer risk is higher for women with more body fat, yet the increased risk was partially reduced for heavier women with increased levels of physical activity.
Similarly, the American Cancer Society’s perspective Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort study has shown that light and moderate physical activities, including daily household chores, may reduce the risk of uterine cancer possibly through directly suppressing the female estrogen hormone or by increasing insulin sensitivity.3
A well-planned fitness exercise program can strengthen the muscles around the female genitalia and pelvic floor. It can aid in keeping the uterus in proper position and prevent it from sagging. Furthermore, a study conducted at the Department of Sports Medicine, Norway has found exercise to be beneficial even in the treatment of a sagging uterus.4
- Can Endometrial Cancer Be Prevented? Available online at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_2x_can_endometrial_cancer_be_prevented.asp. Accessed on: 12 Jan 09.
- Matthews CE, Xu WH, Zheng W, Gao YT, Ruan ZX, et al. Physical Activity and Risk of Endometrial cancer: a report from the Shanghai endometrial cancer study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005; 14(4): 779–785.
- Patel AV, Feigelson HS, Talbot JT, McCullough ML, Rodriguez C, et al. The Role of Body Weight in the Relationship between Physical Activity and Endometrial Cancer: Results from a Large Cohort of U.S. Women. Int J Cancer. 2008; 123(8): 1877–1882.
- Bø K. Can Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Prevent and Treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2006; 85(3):263–268.