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Exercise helps increase cancer survival

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Exercise helps increase cancer survival
U.S. National Soccer player Becky Sauerbrunn leads children from the Barack Obama Elementary School to do as many jumping jacks as they can in a one minute period in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. Michelle Obama is trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24 hour period. The First Lady needs more than 20,000 people to do jumping jacks between October 11 at 3pm Eastern Time and October 12, at 3pm Eastern Time. Thousands of schools across the U.S. are bringing groups of children together to help Michelle Obama achieve this World Record as part of her ÒLetÕs MoveÓ initiative. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

DALLAS, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Energy balance -- calories consumed, offset by the number burned -- is gaining attention by U.S. researchers as a way to reduce cancer rates, a surgeon says.

Dr. David Euhus, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said there is a link between being overweight and an increased risk for breast and other forms of cancer.

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In addition, regular physical activity is associated with reduced cancer rates and better survival rates for people who do get cancer, Euhus said.

"There are dozens of cancer prevention diets being promoted right now, but not one of them has ever been shown to reduce cancer rates in clinical trials," Euhus said in a statement. "It's all about lifestyle. Fad diets work for a time, but it is important to actually change the way you live."

Overweight people tend to have elevated levels of insulin and other hormones that promote growth of cancer cells, and people who carry excess weight around their midsections seem to have the highest increased risk, Euhus noted.

Experts recommend avoiding simple sugars found in desserts and candy, never eating more calories than one can burn off, and exercising three to five times a week to break a sweat and elevate the heart rate, Euhus said.

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