Exercise Can Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

March 15, 2017

Breast cancer is the most common diagnosed invasive malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. You can take steps to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer and one of the best ways is through exercise.

There have been multiple studies looking at the association between physical activity and breast cancer risk. Across all these studies, an average 25 percent risk reduction was found among physically active women when compared to the least active ones. Although the quantitative benefit might be slightly different among different studies, most of these studies have shown positive results.

The most significant issue in assessing the impact of physical activity is the ability to quantify the level of exercise since this is usually a self-reported and could be included with leisure time, work, household-associated activity or a combination of the three.

The effects of physical activity are particularly strong for sustained physical activity over a lifetime and that of at least moderate intensity, if this is recreational, household or even work related. The difficulty comes when trying to define what a moderate level of activity means.  It would be reasonable to identify moderate level of activity as spending at least four hours a week in activities which are more strenuous then just four hours of walking or biking. This might be exercising at least four hours a week to keep fit and participating in recreational athletics like basketball, soccer, tennis or racquetball to name a few. 

Do not be worried if you do not fall in the category above. You can get there. All that matters is to keep trying, improve your fitness and be very consistent with your scheduled. Also, physical activity works best with other life changing measures like weight loss, healthy diet and quitting smoking. All these work together to make you feel better and stay healthy.

Topics: Cancer