Washington: A new study has revealed that postmenopausal women who in the past four years had undertaken regular physical activity had a lower risk for invasive breast cancer compared with women who exercised less during those four years.
Agnes Fournier, from Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at the Institut Gustave Roussy, said that twelve MET-h [metabolic equivalent task-hours] per week corresponds to walking four hours per week or cycling or engaging in other sports two hours per week and it is consistent with the World Cancer Research Fund recommendations of walking at least 30 minutes daily and the study shows that it is not necessary to engage in vigorous or very frequent activities; even walking 30 minutes per day is beneficial.
The scientists found that recreational physical activity, even of modest intensity, seemed to have a rapid impact on breast cancer risk. However, the decreased breast cancer risk we found associated with physical activity was attenuated when activity stopped. As a result, postmenopausal women who exercise should be encouraged to continue and those who do not exercise should consider starting because their risk of breast cancer may decrease rapidly.
The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.