Get Moving to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer - PIH Health

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Published on October 27, 2016

Get Moving to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Woman walking to reduce risk of breast cancer

Woman walking in a parkBreast 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 – 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.

Regular physical activity helps reduce breast cancer risk by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Lowering estrogen levels in your 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 you can get your 2.5 hours of exercise in:

  • 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
  • Swimming

Take all the “steps” you can to prevent breast cancer.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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