Posted on Sep 18, 2014, 6 a.m.
Postmenopausal breast cancer risk decreases significantly with a regimen of physical activity.
Evidence suggests that a routine of regular physical activity associates with reduced risks of invasive breast cancer. Researchers involved in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study analyzed data obtained from biennial questionnaires completed by 59,308 postmenopausal women who were enrolled in E3N, the French component of EPIC. The mean duration of follow-up was 8.5 years, during which time, 2,155 of the women were diagnosed with a first primary invasive breast cancer. The total amount of self-reported recreational physical activity was calculated in MET-h [metabolic equivalent task-hours] per week. Data revealed that postmenopausal women who in the past four years had undertaken regular physical activity equivalent to at least four hours of walking per week (equal to 12 MET-h per week) were at 10% lower risk for invasive breast cancer, as compared with women who exercised less during those four years. The study authors submit that: “The results of this largest prospective study on the protective effects of physical activity indicate that moderate and high physical activity are associated with modest decreased breast cancer risk.”
Steindorf K, Ritte R, Eomois PP, Lukanova A, Tjonneland A, Johnsen NF, et al. “Physical activity and risk of breast cancer overall and by hormone receptor status: the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition.” Int J Cancer. 2013 Apr 1;132(7):1667-78.