There are many benefit of physical activity ranging from reducing your risk of a heart attack to lowering the risk of developing osteoporosis. Exercise is also important when it comes to cancer. Although it is well-established that physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer among women with average breast cancer risk, a recent research study published in Cancer Research revealed evidence that physical activity is beneficial in reducing the risk of breast cancer among women with high breast cancer risk.
Kehm and colleagues used the physical activity data from 15,550 women, including 659 BRCA1 and 526 BRCA2 mutation carriers, who were followed for nearly 20 years. The women reported their average hours per week of moderate (e.g., brisk walking) and strenuous (e.g., running) recreational physical activity, ranging from ½ hour to >11 hours per week. The hours per week were converted to total metabolic equivalents (MET) per week (1 hour moderate exercise = 4METs; and 1 hour of strenuous exercise= 7 METs). The data from 896 women was analyzed, and showed that 86% of women engaged in recreational physical activity. When compared to those of inactive women, the breast cancer risk of women who engaged in recreational moderate or strenuous physical activity was 20% lower. The decrease in breast cancer risk was associated with attaining at least 10.75 METs per week, which equates to 2.7 hours of moderate or 1.5 hours of strenuous physical activity per week.
Great news for women who have high risk of developing breast cancer! Exercise can now be added to the list of prevention interventions, such as frequent screening under the care of a qualified physician, to lower the risk of developing breast cancer. So where do you go from here? Go to OWL and start exercising today with the artificial intelligence well-being coach. You will also learn more about conscious eating and mindfulness, both of which have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.