There have been many studies conducted to ascertain the correlation between breast cancer and exercise. Approximately 30 studies for breast cancer prevention show that women who exercise for more than three hours per week at moderate levels reduce their risk of getting breast cancer by 30 to 40 percent. Therefore, it is not hard to see the benefit exercise has on risk levels. Nonetheless, other studies conducted still see women with obesity issues not putting this valuable risk management benefit into practice.
Most of the studies with conclusive evidence suggest that physical activity reduces breast cancer risk in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Exercise reduces levels of estrogen, testosterone, and insulin – higher levels of these hormones are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. These hormones also cause cancer cells to grow at a faster pace. Physical activity may prevent tumor development by lowering hormone levels, particularly in premenopausal women. Also, lower levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), aid the immune system’s response to cancer cells.
The American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer recently developed new guidelines for cancer prevention in women. Their main focus is on increased physical activity, weight control, and nutrition, as ways to prevent breast cancer. They both provide evidence that links exercise to reduced cancer risks. They recommend that women engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day. Women that exercise for 60 minutes per day saw the most reduced risk for breast cancer. Read more »