Exercise and Breast Cancer

Exercise and Breast Cancer

Research recently released from the United States has suggested that women can minimise their risk of developing breast cancer by remaining or becoming more physically active during what’s described as their mid-life. The study was published in the well-known Cancer journal.

The health benefits of moderate or even mild exercise keep being corroborated and it seems the more research that is undertaken, the more positive benefits of exercising and being physically fit are found. In more detailed reports, this particular research study continues to explain that even physical exercise in its mildest form before and after going through the menopause would result in some form of protection, although it was also highlighted that significant weight gain, classified as a gain of 7lb or more, seemed to cancel out any benefits.

In the study, undertaken by the University of North Carolina, results saw women who exercised for recreational purposes for between ten and nineteen hours a week saw a 30% reduction in their risk of breast cancer. Before beginning the research, the team had some specific goals in mind, principally to see how recreational exercise impacted upon a women’s breast cancer risk as different stages in their life. The data examined included studies of 3,000 women aged between 20 and 98 who were voluntarily enrolled a breast cancer study that dated back to 1993.

Investigations into the data showed that a reduced risk of the most common breast cancers was evident for women who were physical active during their reproductive years and also during the menopause, regardless of the level of intensity of the exercise undertaken. However, as mentioned at the beginning, if a woman was seen to gain significant weight after the menopause her risk of breast cancer was increased regardless of her previous exercise.

Reliability of the Research

The reliability of this research study has been called into question by several medical groups, mainly because of the test group in question. It transpired that the majority of people studied came from a similar background, an affluent area of the USA and were primarily mothers. Therefore, it would be impossible to say if these results could be attributed to women from different backgrounds and of course those who have not had children, especially as previous research has suggested that women’s breast cancer risk is directly affected by the age they have children. Similarly, the study focused solely on recreational exercise, therefore we don’t know how much exercise these women may have got through their general day to day lives, in their jobs and other duties.

There is also the exclusion of men completely from the study, despite the fact that breast cancer is also prevalent in men. Therefore, this research could not be considered evidence of exercise being beneficial for men looking to reduce their cancer risk.

A Healthy Lifestyle Including Exercise

Exercise should be a constant in the life of every capable woman and man out there as the health benefits are evident. As you reach the middle and later years of your life, protection against terrifying diseases like cancer is more than understandable and of course, a healthy lifestyle is essential to get the most out of your life.

It may seem like common sense but now evidence suggests that exercise can help combat or at least protect your body against breast cancer, medical professionals are now suggesting that to reduce your personal risk you should consider engaging in moderate exercise and also maintaining your body weight at a safe level.

Remaining fit and healthy is something we should all strive for as exercise has benefits for every last bit of our bodies. Whether we indulge in a light stroll on a twice weekly basis or are committed to intense training workouts every day, either option is something that will benefit our bodies and our minds in the long run. 


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