Higher Physical Activity Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

by Chris Curley on June 26, 2012

Women who exercise regularly can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, a new study shows.

Any exercise is good, but the more you exercise, the lower your risk, researchers led by Lauren McCullough at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill find. Women with children who exercised between 10 and 19 hours per week before or after menopause had a 30-percent lower risk of getting breast cancer than those who got the least exercise, the study shows.

Women saw breast-cancer risks fall even if they started out overweight or obese, the authors note — though not if they gained weight as they exercised.

Getting any exercise was associated with a 6-percent lower breast-cancer risk, TIME reported June 25.

“As women tend to age, they get set in their habits, and think that if they haven’t been active their whole life, why start now,” McCullough says. “But … you can start exercising after menopause and still enjoy really good benefits.”

The study appears online in the journal Cancer.

(Photo © Deanetr via Flickr)