Further Research on Exercise and Breast Cancer Risk.

Recent research published in early online Cancer concluded that mild or intense  exercise and  either before or after menopause may reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, substantial weight gain many negate these results. This information adds to the existing information on exercise and breast cancer by elaborating on such questions as duration, frequency, and intensity and the influence of body type.

The study included 1,504 women with breast cancer (233 noninvasive and 1,271 invasive) and 1,555 women women without breast cancer who acted as controls. All were between age 20 and 98 years of age.

Results showed that women who exercised during reproductive or postmenopausal years had a reduced risk of developing breast cancer with those exercising 10 to 19 hours a week experiencing the greatest benefit of about 30% reduced risk. Exercise at all levels of intensity reduced the risk of breast cancer and seemed to preferentially reduce the risk of hormone receptor positive breast cancer (ER or PR positive) that is the most common type of breast cancer among American women.  When researchers looked at the joint effects of phy6sical activity, weight gain, and body size, they found that women who were active but who gained a significant amount of weight, especially after menopause, had an increased risk of developing breast cancer indicating that weight gain eliminates the beneficial effect of exercise on breast cancer risk.

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