Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk
workouts are enough to do the trick
Here's another reason to
put down that remote control and get moving: Research shows that
moderate, simple exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer --
even if you don't start until your menopause years.
In a study published in
the Sept 10, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical
Association, researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in
Seattle confirmed earlier findings showing that exercise does
indeed reduce the risk of breast cancer.
But going one step
farther, they also report that even moderate physical activity,
such as 30 minutes of walking three times a week, offers
substantial protection as well -- something previous studies have
"The important news here
is that regular exercise allows a woman some measure of control
over her personal risk profile for breast cancer. Plus, as long as
the exercise is consistent, she doesn't even have to work that
hard to get the benefits," says study author Dr. Anne McTiernan, a
member of Fred Hutchinson's Public Health Sciences Division and
director of the center's Prevention Center.
aren't sure how or why exercise exerts its protective effects
against breast cancer. However, McTiernan hypothesizes that a
reduction in body fat is the key. Studies have shown that excess
fat cells help convert androgens and other hormones into excess
estrogen, long suspected of having links to breast cancer.
McTiernan also says that
exercise reduces the amount of estrogen circulating in the blood,
offering additional protection.
circle, other studies have shown that exercise can also help keep
insulin levels low, which, in turn, helps reduce body fat.