The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 17,990 new esophageal cancer cases (14,440 in men and 3,550 in women) were diagnosed in the United States in 2013. The organization also estimates that about 15,210 people (12,220 men and 2,990 women) died from esophageal cancer in the same year. Here’s the good news: New research shows that exercisers have less risk of developing the disease.

Based on an analysis of several studies, presented at the American College of gastroenterology’s 78th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego in October, the risk of developing esophageal cancer was 19% lower in the most physically active subjects than it was in those who were least physically active. The risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma was 32% lower, but there was no decrease in risk for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

The researchers noted that the data showed a link between physical activity and reduced rates of esophageal cancer, not a direct impact of exercise on the cancer.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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