Disease Management

Breast Cancer and Exercise

Safiya AlMutawa/ Health promotion Researcher
16 February, 2015

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We are all aware of the advantages of being physically active and exercising. Low blood pressure, blood sugar management for people with diabetes 2 and much more. Research has also proven that exercising reduces the possibility of getting breast cancer for women. But what is breast cancer?


Breast Cancer:

Like most forms of cancer, breast cancer occurs when the body no longer controls the growth of its own cells. Our bodies generally replace its own cells at a regular rate of growth. Cancer develops as a result of an abnormal change in the growth of cells as unusual changes or mutations. “The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that develops in the cells of the breast.”


How can we eliminate the risk of Breast Cancer:

According to Breast Cancer prevention: How to reduce your risk article and as research has proven, being actively fit and adopting a healthy lifestyle is a key to preventing breast cancer “even in highly-risk women” (Mayo Clinic, P.g.1). Although we can’t really assure 100% prevention, here are some tips that will help minimizing the risk of developing breast cancer:

  1. Be more physically active.
  2. Watch your weight.
  3. Breast feeding has a protection effect.
  4. Stop smoking.
  5. Limit alcohol.
  6. Limit duration and doses of Hormone therapy.
  7. Stay away from pollution and radiation.

In addition, and according to the American Cancer Society Guideline:

Sedentary lifestyle such as time spent in front of TV and screens should be limited for cancer prevention.

Moreover, a present research has been more focused on the importance of being physically active in prevention of breast cancer.



Breast Cancer and Exercise:

According to How Walking May Lower Breast Cancer Risk article published in The New York Times based on a recently published research “women who walked at least seven hours per week, usually distributed as an hour a day, had 14 percent less risk of developing breast cancer than those who walked for fewer than three hours per week”

Although there is no strong evidence that exercise would prevent breast cancer 100%, it’s known that exercise alternates the estrogen metabolites ratio (which is a ratio to calculate the risk of getting breast cancer) and would change the women’s body, making it stronger against breast cancer.

Research has also found that women who exercise vigorously are at 25% less risk of developing breast cancer than those who exercise less.

In conclusion, walking in particular is easy, costless and accessible and it seems to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, which gives us another reason to walk and achieve a healthier life style. If we can prevent ourselves from any common diseases by adopting a healthy lifestyle then why not start today?!





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