Everybody is aware that exercise provides cardiovascular benefits, but it may not be that well known that exercise can also be effective in the prevention of cancer.

The two studies referred to here examined the association between physical activity and breast cancer risk ( Martina E., et al, 2008, Suzukis., et al, 2008). One of the studies was conducted in Germany and the other one in Japan. The results were the same confirming that the results hold true both for Asian and Western populations.

The German study analyzed the association between physical activity in 3414 postmenopausal women, comparing them with 6569 controls. They found that it was a significant protective effect of physical activity on breast cancer. The researchers concluded that the effects of physical activity were independent from adult weight gain, body mass index and energy intake. The results suggested that physical activity may reduce postmenopausal breast cancer risk at least in part via hormonal pathways, not only by changing body composition.

The Japanese study included 30-157 women between the ages of 40 to 69 years. The conclusion of this investigation was that walking for 1 hour per day and undertaking additional weekly exercise both seemed to be protective against breast cancer regardless of menopausal status or body mass index.

 

 

Martina E. Schmidt, et al. Physical Activity and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer: Effect Modification by Breast Cancer Subtypes and Effective Periods in Life. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Dec;17(12):3402-10. Epub 2008 Nov 24.
Sadao Suzuki, et, al. Effect of physical Activity on Breast Cancer Risk: Findings of the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Dec;17(12):3396-401. Epub 2008 Nov 24.
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