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Can Physical activity reduce the risk of Breast Cancer?

Evidence shows that you can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by being physically active on a regular basis – This includes any activity done for 10 minutes or an activity that can make you breathe harder and get warmer, while still allowing you to carry on a conversation. You should aim for around 150 minutes a week of this type of activity. You can divide this time into various activities however you like.

Role of hormones in controlling Breast Cancer:

The female hormone estrogen seems to play a key role in ensuring breast cancer control. Women with high estrogen levels in their blood have increased the risk for breast cancer. Since exercise lowers blood estrogen, it helps lower a woman’s breast-cancer risk. Exercise also reduces other cancer-growth factors such as insulin.

Physical activity I need to do to reduce my risk of Breast Cancer?

There are many different ways you can meet the recommended 150 minutes a week. You might choose exercise such as swimming, cycling or playing sports, but many everyday activities like brisk walking or walking up stairs also count. You could also try:

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Washing the car
  • Gardening
  • Vacuuming
  • Pushing a pram or wheelchair

You can reduce your risk even further if you do more than 150 minutes a week, or include more strenuous activities such as hill walking, running, aerobics or tennis as part of your 150 minutes.

Other aspects that need to be checked to prevent Breast Cancer:

Many things affect our risk of developing breast cancer. Some of these things we can’t change, like the genes we inherit or getting older, but our lifestyles can play a part too.

  • Healthy Lifestyle – But there are some things we can change to help for leading a healthy lifestyle – by limiting how much you drink, keeping to a healthy weight and being physically active – isn’t a guarantee against breast cancer, but it can help lower the chances of the disease developing.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy – We also know that taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the combined contraceptive pill can affect your risk of breast cancer. Many women make an informed choice to use HRT or the pill, but you may like to consider the risks before you make a decision.
  • Lack of Exercise – Even older women need to be concerned about estrogen, because after menopause the hormone is produced by fat cells. Women who exercise have less fat and therefore produce less estrogen. With more than 150,000 new breast-cancer cases reported in the United States each year, preventing cancer through exercise is one of the best ways a woman can take charge of her health.

Exercise can change your life:

Even moderate activity can be critically important in helping menopausal women reduce their risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic ailments. Exercise reduces fat deep in the abdomen (“intra-abdominal” fat), a hidden risk factor because it can raise insulin levels, which promote the growth of cancer cells as well as cholesterol levels. Most American women gain 1 to 2 pounds on average every year, and that adds up to dangerous levels over a lifetime. The beauty of exercise as a method to reduce total and intra-abdominal fat—and therefore chronic disease —is that it can be done by most women at low cost and with low risk of side effects. It’s never too late to enjoy the health benefits of exercise!

A half-hour stroll a day can help women who’ve survived breast cancer prevent the killer disease returning,” The Sun reports.

Research also supports Physical Activity to prevent Breast Cancer:

A review of recent evidence, carried out by Canadian researchers, was prompted by the fact that many women who undergo treatment for breast cancer are eager to make lifestyle changes that may help reduce the risk of the cancer returning. But there is a great deal of often conflicting advice, so it is hard to make an informed decision.

The researchers’ review of evidence found that physical activity had the strongest reported effect on reducing the risk of breast cancer recurring and dying from breast cancer.

Following the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week guidance, as well as two to three weekly sessions of strength training, can help reduce the risk of breast cancer returning and death from the disease.

The effects of treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can take a toll on motivation to exercise. But clinical guidelines recommend a gradual return to regular exercise.