Decreased breast cancer risk linked to active lifestyle

September 5, 2012
Decreased breast cancer risk linked to active lifestyle

(Medical Xpress)—An active lifestyle such as doing housework, brisk walking and gardening helps to reduce the chance of getting breast cancer, new research shows today.

The research – the largest ever looking at and – is part of ongoing work by the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC), a Cancer Research UK co-funded study and one of the biggest studies into the links between diet, lifestyle and cancer.

Researchers looked at over 8,000 breast cancer cases in women. They found that the group who were the most physically active were 13 per cent less likely to develop breast cancer compared with those who were physically inactive.

Researchers found that women who were moderately active had an eight per cent lower chance of developing breast cancer.   

Previous research has estimated that more than three per cent of breast cancers, more than five per cent of colon cancers and around four per cent of womb cancers in the UK in 2010 were linked to people doing fewer than 150 minutes of at least physical activity per week.**

Professor Tim Key, a Cancer Research UK based at the University of Oxford who works on the EPIC study, said: "This large study further highlights the benefits of being active – even moderate amounts. There is also a lot of evidence that exercise reduces the risk of . More research is needed on other , and to investigate the mechanisms which could explain the links."

The government recommends we do 150 minutes a week of – such as . But only 39 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women are managing this.

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said: "While maintaining a healthy bodyweight and cutting back on alcohol remain two of the best ways of reducing our risk of breast cancer, being active can clearly play a role too – but doesn't have to cost you money or too much time.

"You don't need to train like an Olympic athlete but the excitement of watching team GB win so many golds might have inspired some of us to spend less time on the sofa. And, as this research confirms, exercise can include anything that leaves you slightly out of breath like doing the gardening, walking the dog or housework.

"Small changes in your daily routine can make all the difference, like taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking some of the way to work, school or the shops and add up over the course of a week."

"Keeping active could help prevent more than 3,000 cases of cancer in the UK every year. And it can have a positive effect on your health"

Explore further: Pill and pregnancy have biggest effects on ovarian cancer risk

More information: Steindorf, K et al., – International Journal of Cancer (2012) Physical activity and risk of breast cancer overall and by hormone receptor status: The european prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition DOI: 10.1002/ijc.27778

Parkin, D.M. Cancers attributable to inadequate physical exercise in the UK in 2010. Br J Cancer, 6 Dec 2011; 105 (S2):S38-S41; doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.482 

Related Stories

Pill and pregnancy have biggest effects on ovarian cancer risk

October 26, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Taking the Pill for 10 years can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by almost half (45 per cent), new research part-funded by Cancer Research UK shows today.

Exercise, even mild physical activity, may reduce breast cancer risk

June 25, 2012
A new analysis done by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers has found that physical activity – either mild or intense and before or after menopause – may reduce breast cancer risk, but substantial ...

People fear cancer more than other serious illness

August 16, 2011
More than a third of people in the UK fear cancer more than other life-threatening conditions – such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and heart disease according to a Cancer Research UK survey.

Recommended for you

Use of chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer declines, study says

December 11, 2017
A study of nearly 3,000 women with early stage breast cancer indicates a recent, significant decline in the use of chemotherapy despite the lack of any change in national treatment recommendations or guidelines, according ...

Researchers identify epigenetic orchestrator of pancreatic cancer cells

December 11, 2017
Genentech researchers have identified an enzyme that shifts pancreatic cancer cells to a more aggressive, drug-resistant state by epigenetically modifying the cells' chromatin. The study, which will be published December ...

Soy, cruciferous vegetables associated with fewer common breast cancer treatment side effects

December 11, 2017
Consuming soy foods (such as soy milk, tofu and edamame) and cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbages, kale, collard greens, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli) may be associated with a reduction in common side effects ...

CAR T, immunotherapy bring new hope for multiple myeloma patients

December 11, 2017
Two investigational immunotherapy approaches, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, have shown encouraging results in the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who had relapsed and were resistant to other ...

Landmark CAR-T cancer study published

December 10, 2017
Loyola University Medical Center is the only Chicago center that participated in the pivotal clinical trial of a groundbreaking cancer treatment that genetically engineers a patient's immune system to attack cancer cells.

Tracking how multiple myeloma evolves by sequencing DNA in the blood

December 10, 2017
Although people with multiple myeloma usually respond well to treatment, the blood cancer generally keeps coming back. Following genetic changes in how the disease evolves over time will help to understand the disease and, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.