According to the National Cancer Institute, 43,470 new cases of endometrial cancer were reported in 2010 in the United States. In the same year, 7,950 women fell victim to the cancer, which develops on the tissue lining of the uterus. Findings presented at the Ninth Annual American Association for Cancer Research “Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research” Conference suggest that regular exercise may reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Led by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health, the study compared 668 women with endometrial cancer with 665 women who were cancer-free. All the women answered questions about environment and lifestyle factors.

Using a composite measure of physical activity and body mass index, the scientists found that women who were normal weight (BMI < 25 kg/m2) and active (> 7.5 MET hours per week) had 73% lower endometrial cancer risk than women who were overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and inactive (≤ 7.5 MET hours per week). Normal-weight, inactive women had a 55% lower risk of endometrial cancer. Active, overweight women reduced their risk by 38%. “Programs to increase physical activity levels to the current recommendations of 150 minutes per week may lower the incidence of endometrial cancer,” concluded the authors.