Vigorous exercise reduces breast cancer risk: Study

September 22, 2015

Women who exercised vigorously for more than two hours a week in the past year had a 64 percent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to women who did not exercise. Women who engaged in moderate exercise, like walking, had a 17 percent reduced risk, compared to women who were sedentary.

After evaluating those who were pre- and postmenopausal, they found that vigorous exercise only significantly benefitted postmenopausal women ?? they had a 62 percent reduction in risk.

"I was surprised that we did not find a significant effect in premenopausal women, but it may be because we need a larger sample," Sheppard said.

However, when the researchers examined the effect of total physical activity, which combined walking with vigorous activity of two or more hours per week, they saw significant gains for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

"We suggest that our findings, while promising, should be interpreted with caution. This is a pilot study and a larger, more rigorous study is needed to precisely quantify the effect of exercise on development of breast cancer. I think it is fair to conclude that if African American women exercise they can help take charge of their health," said Sheppard.

Source : Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center