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28 Jun 2022, Edition - 2541, Tuesday

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Education

Binge watching TV series increases risk of cancer in men

indiatoday.in

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Bowel cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men from the UK. In 2015, the country witnessed 41,800 new cases of bowel cancer.

Researchers analysed the data from more than half a million men and women. After six years of follow-up, 2,391 people developed bowel cancer. The researchers from International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Imperial College London and the University of Oxford in the UK further examined the data only to find the link between sedentary behaviour and bowel cancer.

Those who were physically more active had lower chances of developing colon cancer.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN TV AND BOWEL CANCER

Men who spent less time in front of the TV were less likely to develop bowel cancer. But the study could not find a direct connection between screen time and bowel cancer risk.

Previous research suggests that watching TV may be associated with other behaviours, such as smoking, drinking and snacking more, and we know that these things can increase the risk of bowel cancer

He also added that being sedentary is also associated with weight gain and greater body fat which may result in influencing the blood levels of hormones and other chemicals which go on to affecting the cell growth and also increase the risk of bowel cancer.

“This study poses interesting questions such as why screen time from computers did not increase the risk of bowel cancer but watching TV did,” said Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert.

She added:

There is evidence that greater exposure to TV junk food adverts increases the likelihood of eating more, which will also increase your chances of becoming overweight.

WHY ONLY MEN FACE THE RISK AND NOT WOMEN?

According to Bauld, the fact that ‘men who sit in front of the TV for hours have an increased chance of bowel cancer but not women’ is quite interesting. Although the study didn’t look into it directly, she speculated that the behaviour of men watching TV maybe the responsible factor. For instance, men might smoke, drink and eat more unhealthy food than women while watching TV.

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