HomeExclusiveCan Exercise Prevent Breast Cancer

Can Exercise Prevent Breast Cancer

Does Exercise And Being Active Reduce Lung Cancer Risk

Can Exercise Prevent Cancer? (12-27-19)

Being active doesnt reduce the risk of lung cancer.

A few studies have shown a reduced risk in people who are more active, but some of these studies didnt fully consider the effect of smoking.

In the UK, more than 7 in 10 lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. If you do smoke, stopping completely is the best thing you can do for your health. Read our How do I stop smoking? page if youre looking for free support to help you stop for good.

How Much Physical Activity Do You Need

The American Cancer Society recommends getting 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity a week of vigorous activity) . This amount of activity is linked to a decreased risk of cancer overall .

Moderate activities include walking, mowing the lawn and slow dancing. Vigorous activities include jogging, playing tennis and swimming.

You dont need to do intense exercise to lower your risk of breast cancer. Women who get activity equal to walking 30 minutes a day have about a 3 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who arent active .

Avoid Birth Control Pills Particularly After Age 35 Or If You Smoke

Birth control pills have both risks and benefits. The younger a woman is, the lower the risks are. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill. The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill particularly if a woman smokes. However, long-term use can also have important benefits, like lowering the risk of ovarian cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer not to mention unwanted pregnancy so theres also a lot in its favor. If youre very concerned about breast cancer, avoiding birth control pills is one option to lower risk.

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Make It Part Of Your Day

There are many ways to include exercise in your daily routine including:

  • energetic housework or gardening
  • parking your car a little further away from the shops or work and walking the rest of the way
  • getting off the bus a stop earlier than you need to and walking
  • using the stairs instead of talking the lift
  • sitting less and standing more, for example you could walk around when talking on the phone

Move As Often As You Can Whenever You Can

Health Check: Exercise can help fight breast cancer

This study comes at a time when we already have national and international physical activity recommendations for cancer survivors, for the purpose of reducing the risk of recurrence and mortality, Dr. Schmitz said, and the new findings reinforce these recommendations.

Its important to keep in mind, however, that physical activity is not the only factor that determines whether breast cancer will recur, and it certainly is not the only determinant of death. Its just one piece of the puzzle, Dr. Elena said.

We dont want someone to think, If I exercise enough, I wont have a recurrence, she continued. But if you can add physical activity into your day, it is likely to influence many types of health outcomes for breast cancer survivors. That includes quality of life, anxiety, fatigue, and the ability to tolerate treatment, as well as the risk of dying.

The bottom-line message for breast cancer survivors, Dr. Elena concluded, is Move as often as you can, when you can.

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Q: To Reduce My Risk Of Breast Cancer Should I Add Exercise To My Routine

The short answer is yes! Multiple studies have shown associations between physical activity and a reduction in both cardiovascular mortality and cancer mortality. According to one study, increasing exercise and decreasing body fat can reduce the risk of breast cancer for postmenopausal women.

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Researchers found that postmenopausal women who exercised at least 300 minutes per week were more successful at reducing their total body fat compared to those who exercised for half the time. That reduction in body fat may play a role in reducing breast cancer risk.

For overall health, public health officials recommend we be physically active for at least 150 minutes per week at moderate intensity, or 60 to 75 minutes per week at vigorous intensity. This amounts to about 30 minutes per day, five days per week.

But, according to some studies, a longer duration of exercise may be associated with lower breast cancer risk. While 30 minutes most days is good, 60 minutes of exercise most days may be even better when it comes to reducing risk of breast cancer.

More than 100 studies also support the idea that fat loss is an important factor in reducing the risk for postmenopausal breast cancer. A high ratio of waist to hip circumference has also been linked to a variety of other medical conditions.

Tips For Children And Teens

To support a lifetime of physical activity, children and adolescents should be regularly active. Physical activity patterns that start during childhood often carry into adulthood. Children should get moderate or vigorous activity for at least 60 minutes a day. At least 3 days per week, children and teens should be vigorously active. Here are some ways you can encourage activity in children:

  • Cut down on TV time

  • Limit time playing video games

  • Limit computer use and use of other electronic devices

  • Participate in sports or fitness activities

  • Play actively at school or home

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A Little Extra Motivation

Dont forget about the endorphins! Exercise produces endorphins in your body, and endorphins help make you feel happy. Being happy is much needed during cancer treatment. When I was in a full-blown cancer funk, I would put on my favorite 80s playlist and dance like I was a teenager again. Even if it was for one or two songs, dancing always lifted my spirits.

Heres my survivor playlist of upbeat, girl power, cancer blasting music to work out to.

Limit The Time You Spend Sitting

Health Check: Exercise can help fight breast cancer

Another advantage to exercising is that when youre exercising, you arent just sitting. Evidence is growing that sitting time, no matter how much exercise you get when you arent sitting, increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer and some other types of cancer, as well as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

For many of us, working means sitting at a desk for long stretches. That makes it even more important to incorporate activity into your day. Here are some ideas:

  • Limit time spent watching TV and using other forms of screen-based entertainment.
  • Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill when you do watch TV.
  • Use stairs rather than an elevator.
  • If you can, walk or bike to your destination.
  • Exercise at lunch with your coworkers, family, or friends.
  • Take an exercise break at work to stretch or take a quick walk.
  • Walk to visit coworkers instead of sending an e-mail.
  • Go dancing with your spouse or friends.
  • Plan active vacations rather than driving-only trips.
  • Wear a pedometer every day and increase your number of daily steps.
  • Join a sports team.

For people who havent exercised in a while, it makes sense to start slowly and build up gradually. And clear any new activity with your doctor.

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What Are The Benefits Of Exercise

  • Keeping active can help you lose weight or keep a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of 13 different types of cancer.
  • And if youre exercising a lot, it can help prevent breast and bowel cancer.
  • Being active matters it keeps your body and mind healthy, prevents disease and has many other benefits.

Not all cancers can be prevented, but there are proven ways you can reduce your risk. This page covers the benefits of exercise, including how it can help to reduce the risk of cancer.

Being active can also be helpful for many people with cancer during and after treatment. We have a separate page if youd like to learn more about physical activity for people with cancer.

Why Is Exercise Related To Breast Cancer Risk

Exercise may be linked to a lower breast cancer risk for a few reasons.

It can help with weight control. Women who are lean have a lower risk of breast cancer after menopause compared to heavy women .

Being active may also lower blood estrogen levels . Women with lower blood estrogen levels have a lower risk of breast cancer than women with higher levels .

And, exercise may boost the bodys immune system so it can help kill or slow the growth of cancer cells .

Learn more about estrogen and breast cancer risk.

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How Much Exercise Do Women Need

Unfortunately, there is not a magic number of hours that a woman can exercise to prevent cancer from occurring or to lower risk. But we do know that some is better than none, and more is better than less. Also, more vigorous activity is more effective than less vigorous activity. The American Cancer Society recommends all adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes hours of vigorous intensity activity each week, preferably spread throughout the week.

Examples of moderate intensity activities include brisk walking, dancing, leisurely bicycling, yoga, golfing, softball, doubles tennis, and general yard and garden maintenance. Examples of vigorous intensity activities include jogging, running, fast bicycling, swimming, aerobic dance, soccer, singles tennis, and basketball. All of these activities are in addition to those that are part of your usual routine at home and work things like walking from your car to the garage, and climbing a flight of stairs.

How To Reduce Your Risk Of Breast Cancer With Exercise

5 Things You Can Do Every Day to Prevent Breast Cancer

Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible exercises. Consider taking a daily walk with your family to help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Photo: Lee Haywood

Exercise. Love it or hate it, its a well-established fact that physical activity helps keep you healthy. When it comes to preventing breast cancer, the potential benefits of exercise are really worth noting. The American Cancer Society recently acknowledged this long list of benefits in their which strongly recommend exercise as a breast cancer preventative.

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Exercise To Reduce Cancer Risk

Prevention can be a loaded word when it comes to cancer. Weâve all heard of the marathon runner or yoga instructor whoâs been diagnosed after years of exercise and clean living. A cluster of diseases driven by genetic mutations and crossed signals, cancer is maddeningly complicated and yes, it sometimes strikes people no matter what they eat or how much they hike or bike or swim.

When that happens, thereâs often a powerful mutation at work, some creepy string of letters and numbers that may be slowed by exercise and/or good diet, but eventually rides herd over their strong mitigating effects.

Overall, though, exercise absolutely reduces the risk of cancer, and some studies show it may help to hip check recurrence, as well.

A new report even broke down how much cancer risk can be curbed by getting in that recommended daily dose. A half hour of brisk walking a day can lower the risk of colon cancer by 8 to 14% cut breast cancer risk by 6 to 10% decrease endometrial cancer risk by 10 to 18% lower the risk of kidney cancer by 11 to 17% reduce the risk of myeloma by 14 to 19%, non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 11 to 18% and a whopping 18 to 27% in liver cancer.

McTiernan, who on the report, noted the current recommended levels of exercise also âprovide cancer protection in a dose-dependent manner,â i.e., the more you do, the more you benefit.

And itâs not just that it helps us lose weight, she said. Itâs the whole biological process.

Other Kinds Of Exercise

Exercise to help improve aerobic capacity is also important for women who have had breast cancer. Theres evidence that fitness and weight loss may even help lower the risk that some types of cancer will come back after treatment. Ask your doctor about fitness exercises during and after breast cancer treatment.

Other exercises are designed to help reduce your risk of lymphedema, or swelling in the arm, on the side where you had surgery. The exercises shown here are mainly designed to help regain range of motion of the arm and shoulder. Ask your doctor about your lymphedema risk and if you should use exercises to help reduce that risk.

Strengthening exercises are now recommended as part of regular exercise programs to improve health. These are not started until 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, and must be tailored to your general health, medical condition, and fitness. Strength building starts by using small hand weights, and is increased slowly over time. Again, this is best addressed with your doctor or physical therapist. Its probably best to start a strengthening program in a supervised setting with a cancer exercise trainer or physical therapist to be sure youre doing the exercises properly.

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Try These Low Impact Exercises

Walking. The benefits of walking cannot be overstated. If you can addmore steps to your day, it will help keep your body conditioned andhelp you maintain a healthy weight.

Its the one thing thats left out of everybodys day, saysMedina. People that can hit 10,000 steps per day are often healthierthan those that do 30 minutes of gym time daily.

Swimming. Hit a rhythm in the pool and it can calm you down,increase your lung capacity and work almost every muscle in your body.

The main thing about swimming is to get your breathing down, saysMedina. Get into a groove and this can be one of the best low impact exercises.

Tai Chi/Qi Gong. These mind-body practices are designed to getenergy flowing smoothly around your body. Both involve slow and steadymovements coordinated with your breath and are accessible to people ofall fitness levels.

These are great activities to learn how to adjust and adapt todifferent stressors in your life, says Medina.

Like yoga, these mind-body practices can have longlasting effects on your mental and physical health.

Strength training is about more than looking good. Strong musclesmake your daily activities easier and help keep your body injury-free.

It can also improve your metabolism and help you stay at a healthy weight.

But if your gym is still closed or you’re working out at home toreduce your risk of COVID-19 exposure, your strength training routinemay need a reboot.

You don’t need a whole set of weights

Even The Smallest Movement Can Count

Study indicates that exercise can reduce risk of breast cancer returning

Even during my worst days, when I was couch-bound, I still made an effort to do something. I would do a few leg lifts or slow air punches with my arms while lying on the couch. It helped me mentally more than anything. If youre bedridden or couch-bound, do some very light movements to keep the blood flowing and lift your spirits.

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Exercise Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

Studies Show Exercise May Lower Risk and Help Those With Breast Cancer Cope

Feb. 16, 2007 — Exercise may help prevent breast cancer, and help those who do get it cope, two new studies show.

The first study, based on interviews with 15,000 women, shows that women who get more than six hours of strenuous exercise a week, and have no family history of breast cancer, may be 23% less likely to develop the disease than women who don’t exercise at all.

The second study shows a 12-week group exercise program may boost mood and physical function in women with early-stage breast cancer.

The researchers don’t promise exercise will prevent breast cancer, or blame breast cancer on a lack of exercise. Many factors affect cancer risk.

But, they do report exercise appeared to have benefits in protecting against cancer for women of all ages.

“We have found that exercise likely offers protection against breast cancer regardless of a woman’s stage in life,” researcher Brian Sprague, of the University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, says in an American Association for Cancer Research news release.

“The take-home message for women should be that it is never too late to begin exercising,” Sprague says.

Exercise And Breast Cancer Protection: What Why And How

We all know exercise is fantastic for us physically and mentally. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, strengthens bones and muscles, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, improves the ability to do daily activities and improves mental health and mood. Maybe surprising to some, is that exercise also reduces the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer initiation and recurrence.

Over a hundred studies have investigated the relationship between exercise and breast cancer. Both large epidemiologic studies, following thousands of women over time, and smaller studies, examining differences between women with and without breast cancer, have shown that increased physical activity decreases the risk of developing breast cancer.

Reductions in breast cancer risk have been seen across subgroups of womenincluding pre- and postmenopausal women, women with different tumor subtypes, and multiple races and ethnicities. A recent review of published studies estimated the overall decrease in breast cancer risk to be 22%, with the reduction varying from 20-40% depending on the subgroup of women.

So what if breast cancer has already happened? Exercise is equally if not more important. Numerous studies have shown that being physically active lowers the risk of breast cancer recurrence and mortality, decreases treatment-related symptoms and longer-term collateral damage, reduces comorbid conditions and increases quality of life.

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