Mercy Medical Oncologist Dr. David Riseberg Comments On Reports That Sedentary Lifestyle May Increase Cancer Risk

February 20, 2012
Mercy patient Laine Malcotti (far right) is interviewed by WBAL-TV11 regarding her fight with breast cancer

Mercy patient Laine Malcotti (far right) is interviewed by WBAL-TV11 regarding her fight with breast cancer

Researchers said that sitting at a desk all day could do more than just increase the size of your waistline – it could be an overlooked risk factor for certain cancers.

According to Mercy Medical Center medical oncologist Dr. David Riseberg, while previous research has shown that exercise does help prevent cancer, the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology said those who sit at a desk all day long for several years likely have a higher cancer risk.

"As opposed to getting up and doing things, having little bursts of activity," Dr. Riseberg said.

Nearly 2,000 people participated in the study. Researchers in Australia found that those who spent more than 10 years doing sedentary work had nearly twice the risk of distal colon cancer and a 44 percent increased risk of rectal cancer.

The study showed that was seen even among those who were recreationally active.

Laine Malcotti, who said she's never been one to sit around much, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. She had surgery, chemo and radiation.

"Right before I was diagnosed, I was doing the Iron Girl triathlon, training for it two days before my surgery. I did the Iron Girl, and then I did it again a year later," she said. "I was able to work out pretty much all through chemo, which I think is what kept me going."

For Malcotti, who also ran the Baltimore Marathon, activity is just a part of her life. She said she thinks it made a difference in her recovery.

"I think it made a difference mentally," she said. 



Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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