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Improved bladder cancer survival down to regular exercise

Regular exercise may increase the odds of survival from bladder cancer, a new study has found. Exercise has been consistently linked to high prevention and survival rates from a range of diseases and conditions.

The results of a new study presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting by researchers from the University of California, have found that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of dying from bladder cancer.

The study involved a national survey on more than 200,000 people. 48% of these were men and 73% were white. The participants provided information on their levels of physical activity and their BMI (body mass index, a measurement used to determine if someone is a normal weight for their height).

Although the scientists found no link between gender and ethnicity for survival rates against bladder cancer, they did find a correlation between exercise and the prevention of bladder cancer deaths. The participants who exercised were more likely to survive their disease than those who didn’t, and even light or moderate exercise could help current patients, the research team suggested.

The same study revealed that smoking and a delay in diagnosis are two factors which can increase the risk of dying from the disease. A past history of smoking was linked to a triple likelihood of dying from the cancer compared to those who have never smoked.

The late diagnosis of cancers such as bladder cancer are often because the patient is too embarrassed to go to the doctor because of stigmatised symptoms. A separate study carried out by the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, found that women were less likely than men to visit their doctor for a check-up after developing blood in their urine. This delay in seeking medical attention may prevent the detection of the disease at an early stage, leading to worse outcomes and smaller survival rates.

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