Exercise and Breast Cancer
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed for over a quarter of a century. While there is still more focus on a future “cure” than prevention, you’ll be glad to know that there are many ways to reduce your risk naturally. Here’s one proven tactic that’s easy, free, and offers many additional benefits too: exercise.
Considerable research shows that the incidence of colon, breast, and other cancers is greatly decreased in active people when compared with their more sedentary peers. One study showed that women who exercised four hours a week on a regular basis reduced their risk of breast cancer by up to 60%.1 Many additional studies confirm the role of physical activity in breast cancer risk reduction.2,3,4
Exercise may decrease breast cancer risk by:
The good news is that reducing your cancer risk does not require drastic changes to your lifestyle. A mere 30 minute walk, 3 times per week, offers significant benefits. Naturally, health benefits increase with more time spent being physically active.
Your local gym or health club is a great resource for equipment, classes, support, information─and positive role models. Mix it up with outdoor fitness too, whatever keeps you engaged. Go for it!
1 Journal of the National Cancer Institute 86 (1994):1403-08
2 European Journal of Cancer Prevention 4(1995):145-51
3 Endocr Relat Cancer. 2011 Jun 8;18(3):357-369. Print 2011.
4 Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2009;30(2):186-9