Fighting the Good Fight: Exercise

By: Nicole Holt Email
By: Nicole Holt Email

We all know that exercise is good for our hearts. It helps us keep fit and trim. But it turns out, it could also protect us from cancer. This is especially true for women, when it comes to the most common reproductive cancer in this country.

Kate Edlin knew her symptoms weren’t normal, but she wrote them off. Afterall, she was getting close to menopause. But pain eventually prompted a trip to the doctor’s office and she got a diagnosis she never expected, one she’d never heard of—Endometrial Cancer. “I didn’t know what it was, really, when she first told me I had it. I was like, “what’s that?””

Dr. Joan Walker, a gynecologic oncologist with OU Physicians, says Kate is not alone in her ignorance. Although, endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus) is the most common female reproductive cancer in this country, few know abut it and being overweight puts a woman at much greater risk for developing this cancer.

If you are 50 pounds overweight, your at 10 x’s the risk for endometrial cancer. Dr. Joan Walker says, “if we had every woman at normal body weight, we would not have 40-thousand endometrial cancers every year.”

Walker encourages all women to start taking steps now, literally, to protect themselves. Just a little activity can go a long way towards preventing this cancer. “Pick those days a week, pick that time, and go out there and just walk 30 minutes, three times a week, you would decrease your risk for cancer.”

Kate wishes every woman knew what she knows now, about this form of cancer. And how to stop it before it starts. “I didn’t know about this cancer. Nobody in my family had ever had this type of cancer. So I think it’s really important to get the message out about prevention.”

Specialist stress that this type of cancer is not found during a pap test. So if your overweight and suffer from unusual bleeding, or have bleeding after menopause, you should talk with your gynecologist right away.

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