Exercise and the bowel transit time

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Another beneficial factor of exercise is bowel transit time.

Exercise reduces the time it takes for motion to pass through the bowel. Stagnant stool in the colon is thought to increase the risk of cancer by exposing the carcinogens which have not been absorbed in our diet to the mucous membrane of the bowel lining for longer. 

Surgery to the abdomen has a tendency to cause fibrous tissue to form between the loops of bowel slowing the normal flow of motion through the bowel. Likewise some chemotherapy drugs and painkillers can do the same thing. Patients who have developed one bowel cancer are more likely to develop a second so reducing the carcinogen exposure time to the gut is likely to be even more helpful in this higher risk group. 

Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. Cancernet.co.uk has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the cancer journey.

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