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Diet and Exercise May Prevent 1/3 of Breast Cancers

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. A woman's chance of getting breast cancer is about one in eight. Although genes and heredity are a huge risk factor for developing the disease, new studies are highlighting the large role that lifestyle plays when it comes to breast cancer risk.

Figures from the International Agency on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization), estimate that 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases could be avoided if women were thinner and exercised more regularly. In a 2006 British study, obese women were up to 60% more likely to develop any cancer than normal-weight women. So we're starting to see that lifestyle changes (like wearing sunscreen, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and a healthy diet) can have a significant impact on a woman's risk of developing all different types of cancers.

According to the research, "Many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. So experts suspect that the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she's likely to produce, which could in turn fuel breast cancer. Even in slim women, experts believe exercise can help reduce the cancer risk by converting more fat into muscle."

The major risk factors for developing breast cancer are still age, family history and gender. Although these are out of a woman's control, it's important to make as big of an impact as possible on those things you can control- which would be lifestyle habits.

The American Cancer Society recommends 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week to reduce the risk of breast cancer. But the Cancer Society also points out that the risk appears to increase for women who gain weight as adults, but not for women who have been overweight since childhood. So it seems like future research will help further determine the link between lifestyle and cancer risk.

What do you think?

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I've realized that diet and exercise goes a long way; so much more than losing weight and being healthy....you feel healthy, look good and prevent future health problems. Good going! Report
Breast feeding your babies seems to also lower the incidence of breast cancer later in life. Report
You get cancer when a certain physiological set up happens in your body.....Please read Hulda Regher Clark's research on the cure for cancer....10 year cancer survivor...no chemo or radiation... Report
No one is denying in this article that you can still get breast cancer if you live a healthy lifestyle. Only 25-30% of cases would be prevented, though that would still make a huge difference in many women's lives, it still leaves the other 70-75% of cases which would not be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. Report
If we do what we can then if something like that happens to us we don't have to think if i would have done my best i might not have had this! Report
I agree that diet and exercise are important but I really question the results. Martina is a prime example let alone 3 aunts and one cousin of mine, who all had Breast cancer and "NONE" were overweight. All "Four" were always at a healthy weight and 5 pounds was too much for any of them.
I am not stating that we should not exercise, eat healthy and not smoke as I am 100% in agreement the healthier you are, the better your odds are at fighting any health issue. So yes lets eat healty, exercise and quit smoking if you are a smoker but do it for how it will make you feel in the long run! Report
Interesting timing with Martina Navratilova's recent diagnosis. Report
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