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Risk Of Breast Cancer And Exercise

Reducing your risk of breast cancer

A review of published research on breast cancer and physical activity shows that exercise can reduce breast cancer risks.

Researchers found an average of 25-30% decrease of breast cancer for some groups of women with increased physical activity in 76% of the studies.

The physical activity was rated according to intensity, type of activity, and timing over the woman's lifetime.

Reduced risk of breast cancer with exercise

The strongest breast cancer risk reduction was seen for:

  • recreational activity

  • lifetime activity

  • later in life activity

  • and vigorous activity.

The groups of women who benefited the most from these activities included

  • post-menopausal women

  • non-white racial groups

  • women with a normal BMI (body mass index)

  • women with hormone receptor negative tumors

  • women with no family history of breast cancer

  • and women who had given birth to children.

(Friedenreich CM, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Risk: Impact of Timing, Type and Dose of Activity and Population Sub-group Effects, British Journal of Sports Medicine, May 2008).

More information on improving the breast cancer survival rate, and additional benefits from exercise.

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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