Physical exercise is known to reduce the risk of breast cancer. The World Health Organization recommends that women engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. Moreover, women should engage in at least two sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises on a weekly basis.
Physical activity is important for keeping weight under control, which in turn lowers the risk of breast cancer. Increasing physical activity also improves the immune system, which is vital for fighting cancer. One study found that even an hour of walking per week improved the risk of breast cancer, with the maximum benefits coming from a woman who walks three to five hours a week.
Increasing your physical activity can help prevent many types of cancer, including breast and bowel cancer. Although no form of physical activity is guaranteed to prevent cancer, it does prevent it from developing in the first place. Physical activity helps keep the body healthy and disease-free, and can help those who are already suffering from cancer manage it better.
The findings of a Mendelian randomisation study suggest that the risk of breast cancer is decreased by physical activity. Among women who exercised regularly, the risk of developing invasive breast cancer was 40% lower compared to women who did no exercise at all. The risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer was also decreased by being physically active.
Researchers have discovered that women who are genetically predisposed to more vigorous activity had 41% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those with less vigorous activity. This relationship was consistent across case groups. Moreover, women who spent more time active were associated with a lower risk of triple negative breast cancer.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina found that women who exercise regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer than those who did not. This correlation was strongest in women of reproductive age. While women of all exercise levels benefit from lower breast cancer risk, avoiding physical inactivity after age 50 is particularly important.
In addition to the evidence supporting a link between physical activity and breast cancer risk, other research has shown that physical activity reduces the risk of various types of breast cancer. In a 2016 meta-analysis of 38 cohort studies, women who participated in the most physical activity had a 12 to 21% lower risk. This finding is consistent with previous findings and suggests that women who engage in vigorous physical activity after menopause may be at reduced risk for breast cancer.