According to new research, older women who walk every day may reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, and those who exercise vigorously may get even more protection, Health Day news reported Friday.
The study of more than 73,000 postmenopausal women found that walking at a moderate pace for an hour a day was associated with a 14 percent reduced breast cancer risk, compared to leading a sedentary lifestyle. An hour or more of daily strenuous physical activity was associated with a 25 percent reduced risk, the study found.
Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women. In the United States, about one in eight women will develop the disease in her lifetime
The women who reported moderate exercise walked about three miles an hour, or about a 20-minute mile. The more vigorous exercisers participated in such activities as fast walking -- about 4.5 miles in an hour, the equivalent of a light jog, Patel said -- moderate cycling or lap swimming
For the study, published online Oct. 4 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Patel and her team identified more than 73,000 women past menopause who were enrolled in an American Cancer Society study on cancer incidence.
Breast cancer prevention: How to reduce your risks
Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits, such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Doctors don't have a sure-fire way to prevent cancer, but you can reduce your risks by:
- Having healthy eating habits
- Not smoking
- Limiting hormone therapy
- avoiding exposure to radiation and pollution
Visit 'How to do a breast self-exam' to learn how to check yourself regularly for any abnormalities on or around the breast that may require a doctor's attention.