Sitting Down On The Job Doubles Risk Of Bowel Cancer

Tipperary readers beware, new findings suggest no amount of leisure time spent in physical activity can offset the harm done by ‘sitting down on the job.’

According to new research, having a desk job, for more than 10 years, can double the risk of a major type of bowel cancer.
Australian research Scientists have found that office workers, who regularly exercise, are still twice as likely to get a tumour.

Each year almost 40,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, while more than 16,000 of those diagnosed die. Only 70% of those diagnosed survive for at least a year past diagnosis and only 50% survive five years, following detection.

Thousands of people, each year, die undiagnosed and those diagnosed usually die shortly afterwards,  mainly because they miss early warning signs and only seek medical help, once the cancer has advanced.

It has already been well established that the main lifestyle risk factors are continuous diets high in fat and red meat. A persons genes can also play it’s part, as can drinking a lot of alcohol and not taking enough exercise.

A team, from the University of Western Australia, found that people who spent more than 10 years in sedentary jobs were almost twice as likely (94%) to have developed a tumour in the area of the lower bowel called the distal colon. They were also 44 per cent more likely to have developed rectum cancer.

According to Bowel Cancer UK, there are almost 13,000 Distal Colon Cancer cases a year in Britain, and about 14,500 rectum cancers.

These research results carried out, compared 918 people with bowel cancer with 1,021 cancer-free volunteers, who were quizzed on their job history, their lifestyles and levels of physical activity and are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Dr Claire Knight, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said these findings back up other studies undertaken on physical inactivity and cancer, but warned the findings need to be replicated in larger studies.

A US study has found that a daily dose of aspirin may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but Cancer Research UK has noted that regular use of aspirin can cause serious side effects and should not be undertaken unless recommended by a doctor.


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