Striving for a cancer-free future

Is physical activity associated with risk of glioma or survival following a diagnosis of glioma?

Gliomas are a group of central nervous system (brain) tumours. Unlike many cancers, survival following a diagnosis of glioma has improved very little over the past decade. 

Any information that we can discover about modifiable factors that may reduce the risk of developing glioma, or that might improve survival following a diagnosis, is important. Using data collected in the AGOG study, Master of Public Health student Zohreh Basiri, under the supervision of Associate Professor Brigid Lynch, Dr Yi Yang and Professor Claire Vajdic (from the University of New South Wales), examined whether there was a link between physical activity at different stages of life and the risk of being diagnosed with glioma. 495 people diagnosed with glioma and 371 people without a diagnosis participated in the study. Physical activity at different ages was collected using a questionnaire. Participants who reported the highest level of physical activity across their lifetime had a lower risk of developing glioma than participants who were the least active. A similar finding was found for physical activity at 15 – 18 years. The researchers found no association between the level of physical activity across the lifespan and survival following a glioma diagnosis. Engaging in physical activity during adolescence and across the lifespan has many health benefits, and may help to reduce the risk of developing glioma.