Men With Improved Fitness Found to Have Lower Risk for Prostate Cancer

Improving cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer according to a Jan. 30 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The study looked at data on more than 57,000 Swedish men who had taken at least two tests measuring their heart rate during vigorous exercise on a stationary bike. Those whose fitness had improved 3% annually for at least three years were 35% less likely to develop prostate cancer than those whose fitness had declined 3% per year, NBC News reported. Researchers also found that the group who increased their fitness had a lower risk of prostate cancer compared with those whose fitness was stable. William Oh, an oncologist and the chief medical officer of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, who wasn’t involved in the research, told NBC News that the study provides evidence that people can affect their prostate cancer risk whatever their current level of fitness. “People cannot control their genetic backgrounds, and often, we can’t control our environments as much as we’d like. The only thing we can really control is our lifestyle,” Oh said.

No Cervical Cancer Discovered in Vaccinated Cohort

A study of women born in Scotland between 1988 and 1996 who were vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) before turning 14 found no cases of cervical cancer, even if they received only one or two doses of the recommended three-dose regimen. Previous studies have found that HPV vaccination is effective at preventing cervical cancer, but this is the first study to find no instances of cervical cancer across a national cohort of women for a significant length of time, STAT reported. The study, published Jan. 22 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found women also benefited if they were fully vaccinated between the ages of 14 and 22. Incidence for that group was less than half that of the unvaccinated group. While the protection in later ages was good to see, experts stressed the importance of vaccination at the recommended age. “The girls that didn’t develop any cancer were vaccinated before becoming sexually active,” said Kathleen Schmeler, a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who was not involved in the research. “So we should not wait to vaccinate folks and really do it, [per] the guidelines, prior to becoming sexually active.”

WHO Predicts More Than 75% Increase in Cancer Cases by 2050

The World Health Agency (WHO) announced Feb. 1 that it expects new cancer incidence to rise more than 75%, to 35 million annual cases around the globe, by 2050. The estimates from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the WHO’s cancer agency, reflect the aging and growth of the population and exposures to risk factors including tobacco, alcohol and obesity, which are expected to increase in places with developing economies, and continued exposure to air pollution. While the rise in cancer cases will be seen across the world, including 4.8 million new cases in the highest-income countries, the effects are expected to disproportionately hurt people in lower-income countries, where cancer mortality is expected to nearly double, the Guardian reported. “Where someone lives should not determine whether they live. Tools exist to enable governments to prioritise cancer care, and to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, quality services. This is not just a resource issue but a matter of political will,” Cary Adams, head of the Union for International Cancer Control, said in the announcement.