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Putting Your Best Foot Forward Could Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

By Joanne Sgro-Killworth HERWriter
 
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reduce your breast cancer risk by putting your best foot forward
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Postmenopausal women who walk now have a reason to step it up when it comes to preventing breast cancer. Walking at least seven hours per week is linked with 14-percent less risk of developing breast cancer after reaching menopause, according to the American Cancer Society.

The study was published earlier this month in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. One of the interesting findings was that the routine exercise worked in the prevention of the disease regardless of the participants’ weight.

The very large study looked at nearly 74,000 postmenopausal women already taking part in The American Cancer Society’s CPS-II Nutrition Survey cohort. That separate study was established in the early 1990s with two primary objectives:

“1) to obtain detailed information on dietary exposures and to update with additional exposure information

“2) to conduct prospective cancer incidence follow-up in addition to mortality follow-up”

The study found that those who walked more than seven hours lowered their risk. The women were walking at a moderate pace of about 3 miles per hour. The women who were more active, walking and doing more vigorous exercise, had a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to the least active.

Study leaders are still evaluating additional reasons for the positive effects exercise has in lowering the risk of breast cancer, but have some preliminary conclusions. Physical activity regulates hormones such as estrogen and insulin. These hormones can fuel the growth of breast cancer.

Most evidence indicates that physical activity may decrease the risk for breast cancer in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. The National Cancer Institute also suggests that exercising for the prevention of breast cancer is important at a young age. When high levels of physical activity, both moderate and vigorous, is done during the adolescentyears may be, this may increase the level of protection.

According to BreastCancer.org, as they cite a 2010 study by the American College of Sports Medicine, exercise is important even after a diagnosis.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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