February 24, 2013
Studies have shown that exercise can reduce the risk of many types of cancers including colon, breast, and prostate cancer. A recent study from the University of California - San Francisco looked specifically at 184 genes in prostate tissue whose expression is linked to vigorous exercise. A group of 70 men filled out a questionnaire regarding their exercise habits. In the men that vigorously exercised at least three hours per week there were 109 genes that were made more active or "up-regulated" and 75 genes that were made less active or "down-regulated". Many of the genes that were up-regulated have previously been regarded as those that help to reduce cancer progression, including BRCA1 and BRAC2. BRAC1 and 2 belong to a group of genes known as "tumor suppressors" which help to control abnormal cell growth. Mutations within these genes have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The research center plans to follow up with a larger population study to determine how exercise can impact those men with a recurrence of cancer.