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Exercising regularly reduces risk of breast cancer after menopause

Published on 29/06/2012

Women who exercise regularly may be less likely to develop breast cancer after the menopause, according to a US study.

Researchers interviewed more than 3,000 women of the same age about their lifetime exercise habits and other lifestyle factors. 1,500 women had breast cancer, and 1,550 women were without.

Writing in the journal Cancer, they found that women who’d exercised for 10 to 19 hours a week in their ‘reproductive years’ were one-third less likely to have breast cancer than women who had been sedentary during that time.

Women who’d started exercising after the menopause also had a lower risk of the disease. If they averaged nine to 17 hours a week, they were 30% less likely to have breast cancer than their inactive peers.

Researchers found a connection between exercise and breast cancer risk only among women who had already gone through the menopause. Lead researcher Lauren McCullough at the University of North Carolina said:

"It’s never too late to start. Our evidence suggests that if you start after menopause, you can still help yourself."

The researchers accounted for differences in education, income, smoking and other factors and still showed the same link. However, relying on women’s memory of their exercise habits over a lifetime may have been a limitation.

For top quality breast cancer treatment, look for a health insurance policy with full cancer cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
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