Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Exercise and cancer

We all know that exercise is a Good Thing – for cardiovascular health, for weight control, to reduce risks of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and even to ward off Alzheimer's disease and dementia (see here, here, here, here, here).

Now there is recent research that exercise might be beneficial in reducing risks of various kinds of cancer:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

All studies deserve a careful, critical look. For instance, this blogger took a look at the study claiming exercise lowers risk for breast cancer. The results were pretty funny:

1/09/2007 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Charles Daney said...

Why do you think the results were "pretty funny"? The study looks very credible to me, although it isn't one listed in the post here. I wonder whether the blogger doubts those other studes, relating exercise and cancer, as well.

I think the blogger may be mistaken when she says "None of the correlations they could come up with were tenable (beyond random chance or statistic error)."

In fact, the study claimed to show "post-menopausal women who did housework were found to be about 20 per cent less likely to develop the disease than post-menopausal women who did none." The difference was even higher for pre-menopausal women (30%). Since there were 2554 cases of breast cancer in the first subgroup, a 20% difference could very well have been statistically significant. Is the blogger alleging that the researchers made computational errors?

I am aware that there is a lot of controversy over studies of the relation of obesity and health, and related issues. Actually, it looks to me as though both sides often have an agenda to push that may be other than pure scientific objectivity.

It's disappointing to me that the blogger (tell the truth - is it you?) advocates critical thinking about these issues, but her main claim seems to be that (basically) the people being disagreed with have a hidden agenda and "I'm right and they're wrong." She offers her own analysis of some of the data, but did not show how the researchers' analysis was wrong.

Well, I think critically too, and I want to see the blogger's claims substantiated better.

BTW, the blog post in question is here, even though Blogger cut the URL short in the comment.

1/10/2007 02:35:00 AM  

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