Background: Physical activity has been associated with longer chronic disease-free life expectancy, but specific cancer types have not been investigated. We examined whether leisure-time moderate- to-vigorous physical activity (LTPA) and television (TV) viewing were associated with life expectancy cancer-free. Methods: We included 14,508 participants without a cancer history from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. We used multistate survival models to separately examine associations of LTPA (no LTPA, <median, ≥median) and TV viewing (seldom/never, sometimes, often/very often) with life expectancy cancer-free at age 50 from invasive colorectal, lung, prostate, and postmenopausal breast cancer. Models were adjusted for age, gender, race, ARIC center, education, smoking, and alcohol intake. Results: Compared with no LTPA, participants who engaged in LTPA ≥median had a greater life expectancy cancer-free from colorectal [men-2.2 years (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.7-2.7), women-2.3 years (95% CI, 1.7-2.8)], lung [men-2.1 years (95% CI, 1.5-2.6), women-2.1 years (95% CI, 1.6-2.7)], prostate [1.5 years (95% CI, 0.8-2.2)], and postmenopausal breast cancer [2.4 years (95% CI, 1.4-3.3)]. Compared with watching TV often/very often, participants who seldom/never watched TV had a greater colorectal, lung, and postmenopausal breast cancer-free life expectancy of ∼1 year. Conclusions: Participating in LTPA was associated with longer life expectancy cancer-free from colorectal, lung, prostate, and postmenopausal breast cancer. Viewing less TV was associated with more years lived cancer-free from colorectal, lung, and postmenopausal breast cancer. Impact: Increasing physical activity and reducing TV viewing may extend the number of years lived cancer-free.
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