Recent, vigorous exercise is associated with reduced breast cancer risk

September 30, 2009

Post-menopausal women who engage in moderate to vigorous exercise have a reduced risk of breast cancer. This comes from researchers writing the open access journal BMC Cancer who investigated the link between breast cancer and exercise.

"With an estimated 182,460 new cases diagnosed in the United States in 2008, breast cancer is recognized as the most common cancer affecting U.S. women" says Dr. Tricia M Peters from the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, who headed up an international team of researchers. Vigorous exercise has been hypothesized to reduce cancer risk for some time. However, this new study is one of the first prospective investigations to look at the importance of various intensities of exercise at different stages in an individual's life.

Over 110,000 post menopausal women were asked to rate their level of physical activity at ages 15-18, 19-29, 35-39, and in the past 10 years. It was found, over 6.6 years of follow up, that women who engaged in more than 7 hours per week of moderate-to-vigorous exercise for the last ten years were 16% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who were inactive. However, no link was observed between breast cancer risk and physical activity in women who were active at a younger age.

Dr. Peters concludes, "Our findings could help inform the mechanisms of the physical activity-breast cancer relationship. With breast cancer still claiming so many lives, all the information of potential preventive measures we can get is vital".
-end-
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Notes to Editors

1. Intensity and timing of physical activity in relation to postmenopausal breast cancer risk: the prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study
Tricia M Peters, Steven C Moore, Gretchen L Gierach, Nicholas J Wareham, Ulf Ekelund, Albert R Hollenbeck, Arthur Schatzkin and Michael F Leitzmann
BMC Cancer (in press)

During embargo, article available here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/imedia/1730807432504032_article.pdf?random=189022

After the embargo, article available at journal website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmccancer/

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2. BMC Cancer is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in all aspects of cancer research, including the pathophysiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers. The journal welcomes submissions concerning molecular and cellular biology, genetics, epidemiology, and clinical trials. BMC Cancer (ISSN 1471-2407) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE, Current Contents, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (www.biomedcentral.com) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

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