Exercise Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer

OSLO, NORWAY - Breast cancer is a serious and prevalent form of cancer. While men can develop breast cancer, it is 200 times more likely in women and affects one in every eight women in the United States. The risk of breast cancer is especially increased in those women who are older, begin menstrual periods early, experience menopause late, bear fewer children or begin having children later in life. A history of breast cancer in the family increases the risk of developing breast cancer in a woman by three to five times.

Dr Inger Thune and associates reported the findings of their survey study of over 25 thousand women. Their data, reported recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (1997;336:1269-75), showed that four hours or more of exercising a week significantly reduced their risk of developing breast cancer. The risk was also reduced with higher levels of activity in the workplace (lifting, walking, or manual labor).