According to an article recently published in the journal Epidemiology, further data indicates that physical activity reduces the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women.
Breast cancer is diagnosed in approximately 200,000 women annually in the U.S. alone. Due to its prevalence, researchers continue to evaluate ways to prevent or reduce the risk of women developing the disease.
Several studies have suggested that physical activity may reduce the risk of breast cancer, particularly among postmenopausal women. Because the possible relationship between physical activity and a reduced risk of breast cancer could have important implications for women in the U.S., researchers continue to evaluate this association.
Researchers recently conducted a review of nearly 50 studies that evaluated the relationship between physical activity and the incidence of breast cancer. Results were as follows:
- Physical activity reduced the risk of breast cancer by 20–80% among postmenopausal women.
- Over half of the studies reported a relationship between increasing exercise and decreasing risk of breast cancer, suggesting a 6% decrease in the risk of breast cancer for each additional hour of exercise per week.
- The relationship between premenopausal breast cancer and physical activity was weak.
The researchers concluded that this review of data placed greater importance on the role of exercise in the prevention of breast cancer among postmenopausal women. Women who are not regular exercisers may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of starting an exercise program.
Reference: Monninkhof E, Elias S, Vlems F, et al. Physical activity and breast cancer: a systematic review. Epidemiology. 2007;18:137-157.
Related News:Additional Evidence that Physical Activity Reduces Breast Cancer Risk (1/8/2007)
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