member of the Light Riders bicycle group (photo by jhy)
based on several sources
"Exercise is the preferred weight loss strategy to decrease breast cancer risk," said Anne Maria May, of the University Medical Center Utrecht, in the Netherlands.
In a study of 240 overweight women, ages 50 to 69, who didn't regularly exercise, the women's goal was to lose 11 to 13 pounds (5 to 6 kilograms) over 16 weeks. About a third dieted, while another third were assigned exercise regimens. The final third did nothing, a control group.
All weight loss goals were met. However, the exercising group preserved body mass and reduced fat. Blood tests showed that estrogen levels were lowered in this group. (Many breast cancers need estrogen to grow.) The researchers also found the exercising group showed a benefit in increased levels of other breast cancer related hormones, such as testosterone.
It is likely that physical activity influences sex hormone levels mainly through reducing body fat, May said.
Other studies suggest it is possible that exercising affects women's cancer risk by reducing inflammation in the body, or decreasing levels of the hormone insulin.
More recently, Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center found strong evidence linking physical exercise to a lower rate of breast cancer in African American women, a group in which previous evidence has been lacking. This study followed more than 44,000 African American women over a span of 16 years and observed whether they developed breast cancer.
They found that women who exercised vigorously for seven or more hours each week were 25 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who exercised less than one hour each week. Walking briskly provided the benefit, but slower walking did not.
See Exercise Beats Diet In Reducing Breast Cancer Risk
See Exercise associated with reduced risk of breast cancer in African-American women
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