Vigorous Exercise Reduces Your Breast Cancer Risk

January 20, 2014 | By | Reply More

Jan 20, – Research shows that women who exercise regularly have a 25 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to the most inactive women.

hromeida Vigorous Exercise Reduces Your Breast Cancer Risk health and fitness2The American Cancer Society recommends that adults do moderate-intensity exercise at least 150 minutes a week — that’s just three gym classes. But you don’t need to go nuts to make a positive impact: Simple activities like walking count.

Researchers looked at 73,615 post-menopausal women and found that those who simply put one foot in front of the other seven hours per week — about an hour a day — had a 14 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to their inactive peers.

More good news? You don’t have to be slim to benefit from working out. “Even overweight women who exercise routinely are at lower risk of developing breast cancer,” says Bevers. “[But] clearly her risk may be even lower if she, through exercise, were able to attain a healthy body weight.”

Experts estimate that about one in eight women born in the U.S. today will be diagnosed with breast cancer. You may already know someone who is battling it. “Much of what causes breast cancer is not something that a woman has control over,” says Dr. George Sledge, professor of medicine and chief of the division of oncology at Stanford.

That’s a scary thing to hear about a disease that kills nearly 40,000 U.S. women a year.

But there’s hope: Some of what causes breast cancer can be controlled — they’re what doctors call “modifiable” risk factors. By making a few positive changes now, you can lower the chance that you’ll get a diagnosis.

“I’m not going to say all of them are super easy, but I think they’re doable,” says Dr. Therese Bevers, professor of clinical cancer prevention and medical director of the cancer prevention center at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. “And if need be, your physician can help you with resources to do them successfully.”

Breastfeed if you have children.
It’s good for your baby — and your breast health. “The more months you breastfeed, the lower your likelihood of developing breast cancer,” says Sledge.

Why? “Starting periods later, ending periods sooner, and having fewer periods because you’ve been breastfeeding or exercising a lot all reduce your risk,” he says. It boils down to decreased exposure to estrogen.

Giving birth to your first child at a younger age also decreases the likelihood of developing breast cancer, though no one knows why. “One thought is with the first pregnancy, the breast undergoes an irreversible change that makes it less sensitive to carcinogens,” says Sledge. “It might be related to the milk-producing hormone prolactin.”

Get regular mammograms.
While mammograms don’t prevent cancer, they make a cure more possible. “You’re detecting it at a stage where it’s more likely to be curable,” says Kaklamani. Breast cancer is curable in 90 percent of stage one cases, 80 percent of stage two cases, and 60 percent of stage three cases, she says.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women receive the low-dose x-ray procedure annually beginning at age 40. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which is concerned about false positives for women in their 40s who have denser breast tissue, recommends getting them every other year beginning at age 50.

Which rule should you follow? “We’re approaching an area where we try to individualize,” says Sledge. “Not all women should get the same diagnostic techniques.” Work with your doctor to find a screening schedule that’s right for your particular factors.

Health and science writer for HROmedia  РDr. Carlos Ricardo, contributed to this report.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Health and Fitness

Leave a Reply