With breast cancer reaching epidemic proportions and increasingly affecting women at a younger age, there is even more reason now to take preventative measures such as exercise.
Thankfully, early detection of breast cancer is the reason for the high numbers of reported occurrences. But, there are steps, such as exercise, women can take to prevent breast cancer and a reoccurring diagnosis. Having trained numerous women both during and post-treatment through grant programs such as “Return to Welllness,” and Lance Armstrong’s “Live Well After Cancer Treatment.” with The Wellness Community of Philadelphia, I have seen the positive effects of exercise. But, there are numerous studies supporting exercise as one of the major analgesics for prevention of the disease. According to breastcancer.org, being physically fit is no guarantee that you will not get breast cancer, but research supports that regular exercise will put you at a reduced risk for developing the disease.
The Journal for The American Medical Society echoes these findings stating, “Research has shown that four hours of exercise a week may lower the risk of developing breast cancer.“
The study cites one of the possible reasons is that exercise can lower the amount of estrogen in your body. Estrogen has been linked to the the growth of some breast cancers.
Studies show that obesity can play a major role in developing breast cancer, especially in post-menopausal women. The reason is that extra fat cells promote estrogen growth. The same is true for overweight women who have had the disease. Exercise promotes weight loss which in turn will reduce their risk of a reoccurring cancer.
Weight gain as a result of chemotherapy, is one of the major complaints I have heard from women going through or coming out of recent treatment. When participating in an exercise program they reported not only weight loss, but in some cases a decrease in the side effects from the treatment. Studies also support findings that exercise can help boost the immune system and energy levels, while limiting fatigue.