Moderate Activity Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

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Walking for 1 hour or more daily was associated with a 14% lower risk for breast cancer, and high physical activity (>42 metabolic equivalent hours per week) was associated with a 25% lower risk, compared with the risk for most sedentary women, according to findings from a large prospective study published online October 4 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.

“Our results clearly support an association between physical activity and postmenopausal breast cancer, with more vigorous activity having a stronger effect,” senior author Alpa Patel, PhD, from the Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, said in a news release. “Our findings are particularly relevant as people struggle with conflicting information about how much activity they need to stay healthy.”

Among women who reported walking as their only recreational activity, those walking 7 or more hours per week had a 14% lower risk than those walking 3 or fewer hours per week (95% CI for RR, 0.75 – 0.98). Sitting time was not associated with breast cancer risk. ER status, BMI, weight gain, and PMH use did not affect the observed inverse associations between physical activity and postmenopausal breast cancer.

Although current guidelines recommend at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, for adults to improve overall health, less than half of US adult women achieve these activity levels. So there you have it: Get out of that chair and go! I’m Dr. Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minuteable now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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