Study Links Exercise to Reduced Risk of 13 Different Types of Cancers

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Among the many benefits of exercise, a recent study reports that exercise reduces the risk of various types of cancer. Robert Drapkin, M.D., board-certified healthcare provider in Internal Medicine and competitive body builder, discusses the findings of this comprehensive study.

Dr. Robert Drapkin comments on the recent study revealing exercise can reduce the risk of 13 types of cancer.

With such a large pool of individuals being studied, we now have the ability to consider even less common cancers that have yet to be explored.

It’s already common knowledge that exercise is beneficial for health, but a recent study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Health and the American Cancer Society shows that exercise can actually be linked to a reduction in the risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. Published in the May, 2016, edition of JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers examined the physical activity levels of 1.4 million people over an 11-year period (1) to explore how vigorously different types of cancers progressed against how often the participants exercised. In 2012 one out of three people in the United States were not just over weight but objectively obese. (2) In morbidly obese people [BMI>40] the death rates from all cancers combined are 52 percent higher for men and 62 percent higher for women when compared with the rates in men and women of normal weight. (3)

As an advocate for exercise extending longevity of life, Robert Drapkin, M.D. practices what he preaches and is a competitive bodybuilder at age 71. He is also a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care. “Both men and women begin to lose muscle in their third decade and as this process continues they are weaker, less active, and gain body fat which leads to metabolic disease and cancer,” He said. “All those over the age of 40 need to learn how their bodies work so they can have a healthy lifestyle and prevent cancer and the common metabolic diseases, which are not caused by aging despite what your health-care providers will tell you but are caused by poor lifestyle choices.”

Dr. Drapkin notes that physical activity can help to regulate the body’s insulin and hormone levels, both of which have been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Lowering insulin levels can help to slow the progression of several types of cancer, including breast and bowel cancer.

“There have been hundreds of studies that have presented the correlation between physical exercise and cancer risk for some leading types of cancers,” Dr. Drapkin said. “But with such a large pool of individuals being studied, we now have the ability to consider even less common cancers that have yet to be explored.”

Research shows that people who exercise more frequently have a 7% lower risk of developing cancer. Those who fell into the 90th percentile and were the most active reduced their overall risk of developing 13 different types of cancer, including esophageal adenocarcinoma (42% lower risk), liver cancer (27%), lung cancer (26%), kidney cancer (23%) and stomach cancer (22%), to name a few. (4)

Despite the fact that some of the candidates in the study had an increased body mass index (BMI) and/or poor diet, along with other harmful factors (such as smoking), these candidates still saw a significant correlation between amount of daily physical activity and their risk of these 13 different types of cancer.

“Even those patients who have already been diagnosed with cancer, or are going through radiotherapy, can benefit tremendously by adding physical activity to their daily lives,” Dr. Drapkin explained. Dr. Drapkin promotes light exercise daily for his patients, while continuing their treatments, to alleviate fatigue, depression and osteoporosis.

Dr. Drapkin has spent the last 36 years researching medical practices which coincide with the study’s findings. As he discusses in his book, Over 40 & Sexy as Hell!, Dr. Drapkin wants to help men and women over the age of 40 to improve their lives by preventing the metabolic diseases of aging, including cancer.

About Robert Drapkin, M.D., F.A.C.P.:

Robert Drapkin, M.D., is a healthcare provider who is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care. For the past 36 years, Dr. Drapkin has been in active practice as a doctor, working to ensure the best quality of life for his patients as they age. While in his fifties, Dr. Drapkin became inspired by his own unhealthy habits to educate himself on diet and exercise. He went from living an unhealthy lifestyle to becoming a premier bodybuilder, and now, at the age of 71, Dr. Drapkin has been a competitive body builder for 17 years and has won many titles and contests. Fed up by the perpetuation of myths in the subject of elderly fitness and health, Dr. Drapkin decided to share his education through public speaking, and has become a media source for accurate information regarding healthy aging. Dr. Drapkin authored the book, Over 40 & Sexy as Hell!, available on Kindle and in paperback on at For more information, visit

1.    Cancer Treatment Centers of America, KPNX. “Exercise linked to reduce the risk of 13 types of cancer”,

2.    Ogden, Cynthia L. "Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2011–2012." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 Sept. 2016.

3.    Callie, Eugenia E. "Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality from Cancer in a Prospectively Studied Cohort of U.S. Adults." The New England Journal of Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Sept. 2016.

4.    Park, Alice. “Exercise Can Lower Risk of Some Cancers By 20%, TIME.

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