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Physical activity protects breasts from cancer before menopause

A look at ‘Physical activity protects breasts from cancer before menopause’ For women navigating the years before menopause, a new study funded by Breast Cancer Now offers encouraging news: Regular leisure-time physical activity can be a powerful weapon against breast cancer.

This study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, sheds light on a modifiable factor that could provide significant risk reduction for younger women.

Dive into the data

The study closely examined data from 19 global studies, involving more than 547,000 premenopausal women.

Over an average follow-up of 11.5 years, a sobering reality emerged: 10,231 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research in London painstakingly categorized the data based on self-reported leisure-time physical activity, including exercise, cycling and recreational walking.

The power of movement

The results were clear: women who logged the most leisure activity and occupied the top 10% of the physical activity spectrum had a 10% lower risk of developing breast cancer before menopause compared to their least active counterparts.

This benefit held true even when other important risk factors for breast cancer were taken into account, such as BMI, family history, smoking and alcohol consumption.

No magic number, just consistent movement

Encouragingly, the study did not identify a specific “magic number” of exercise minutes needed for protection.

Instead, the importance of consistent exercise was emphasized, highlighting that the more moderate and vigorous physical activity women undertake outside of work, the lower their risk of breast cancer.

This finding allows women to find activities they enjoy and gradually incorporate them into their routines.

The science behind the sweat

Although the exact mechanisms are still under investigation, previous research suggests that physical activity may lower sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, which are known to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Additionally, it lowers insulin and growth hormone levels, both of which may contribute to cancer growth. Additionally, physical activity reduces overall inflammation, another player in cancer development and progression.

Stimulate action, not panic

It is critical to remember that breast cancer risk is influenced by a complex interplay of factors, many of which are beyond our control.

However, this study allows women to take proactive steps toward their health by incorporating small, sustainable changes focused on physical activity. Resources such as Breast Cancer Now’s Younger Women Together program provide invaluable support and connection for women going through this journey, providing a platform to share experiences and access vital information.

The last takeaway

This research is an important step forward in understanding the link between physical activity and breast cancer risk in premenopause.

While it doesn’t guarantee immunity, it paints a compelling picture of prevention through powerful choices.

By incorporating even a small dose of exercise into the daily routine, women may be able to reduce their risk and take charge of their health in a meaningful way.

Remember that every step, every cycle and every training session counts. So put on your shoes, find your passion and move your body for a healthier future.

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