Health, Zoomer Report
It’s breast cancer awareness Month and here’s the latest on how to reduce your risk. A study of more than 73,000 older women in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found women who walk every day may reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. And those who exercise vigorously may get even more protection.
The research found that walking at a moderate pace for an hour a day reduced the risk of developing the disease by 14 percent compared to leading a sedentary lifestyle. An hour or more of daily strenuous physical activity was associated with a 25 percent reduced risk.
By the way, moderate was defined as walking about three miles an hour, or a 20-minute mile. The more vigorous exercisers did the equivalent of a light jog, moderate cycling or lap swimming.
While other studies have found that exercise lowered risk of breast cancer more for women with a lower body mass index (BMI) ,this study found the effect held regardless of BMI, weight gain in adulthood or use of postmenopausal hormone therapy.
Why does exercise appear to lower breast cancer risk? It’s all about estrogen. Breast cancer risk is affected by lifetime exposure to estrogen, with more exposure increasing risk. Older, physically active women have lower levels of estrogen than their sedentary peers. Bottom line, researchers say this is great news for women who aren’t very athletic – because walking is something almost everyone can do.