Postmenopausal breast cancer risk decreases significantly with regular exercise

Postmenopausal breast cancer risk decreases significantly with regular exercise

  • Healthy living is also about being educated on the latest health news so you can take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe.
  • Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in every 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, and 39,620 will die from breast cancer this year.
  • According to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, postmenopausal women who in the past four years had started physical activity of about four hours per week had a lower risk of invasive breast cancer compared with women who exercised less.
  • Twelve MET-h [metabolic equivalent task-hours] per week corresponds to walking four hours per week or cycling or engaging in other sports two hours per week and it is consistent with the World Cancer Research Fund recommendations of walking at least 30 minutes daily,” said Agnès Fournier, PhD, a researcher in the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France. “So, our study shows that it is not necessary to engage in vigorous or very frequent activities; even walking 30 minutes per day is beneficial,” Fournier adds.
  • Postmenopausal women who in the last four years had began 12 or more MET-h of physical activity a week had a 10 percent decreased risk of breast cancer compared with less active women. Those who were this physically active five to nine years earlier, but were less active four years prior to the study did not have a decreased risk of breast cancer.
  • Physical activity is thought to decrease a woman’s risk for breast cancer after menopause. However, it was not clear how rapidly this association is observed after regular physical activity is begun or for how long it lasts after regular exercise stops,” Fournier explained.
  • Our study answers these questions,” Fournier continues. “We found that recreational physical activity, even of modest intensity, seemed to have a rapid impact on breast cancer risk. However, the decreased breast cancer risk we found associated with physical activity was attenuated when activity stopped. As a result, postmenopausal women who exercise should be encouraged to continue and those who do not exercise should consider starting because their risk of breast cancer may decrease rapidly,” Fournier added.
  • Fournier and her team analyzed results from questionnaires that were completed every other year by 59,308 postmenopausal women who were a part of E3N, the French component of the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The follow-up total was 8.5 years, during which time, 2,155 of the participants were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
  • The total amount of recreational activity was measured in MET-h per week. The reduction of breast cancer risk from 12 or more MET-h per week was independent of body mass index, weight gain, waist circumference, and level of physical activity from five to nine years earlier.
  • Take a healthy living step and exercise more often.
  • Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.
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