October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Take “Steps” to Lower the Risk of Breast Cancer
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, PIH Health encourages women to take the recommended “steps” to lowering the risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, affecting one in eight women during her lifetime. But women can take positive—and literal—“steps” to lower their risk. Research indicates that moderate exercise can lower a woman’s risk by 10 to 20 percent. The benefits of physical activity are most clearly seen in postmenopausal women.
“In addition to lowering the risk of breast cancer, exercise can help you keep your weight down and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” says Lisa Wang, MD, PIH Health Oncologist.
Regular physical activity helps reduce breast cancer risk by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Lowering estrogen levels in the body, which may help prevent the development of breast cancer
- Lowering insulin levels, which may correlate to a lower risk of developing the disease
The American Cancer Society recommends 2.5 hours of exercise per week to lower cancer risk. Strenuous exercise is not necessary – even a 30-minute walk five days a week provides benefits.
Other ways to get 2.5 hours of exercise include:
- Walking your dog
- Riding a stationary bike or a real bike
- Walking on a treadmill
- Participating on a sports team, like adult tennis or soccer leagues
Take all of the “steps” to prevent breast cancer. For more information visit PIHHealth.org. Local residents can call 562.906.5692 or visit PIHHealth.org/Mammogram to schedule a mammogram.