In a recent study of nearly 120,000 postmenopausal women, the influence of exercise on the development of breast cancer was examined. These women were in the prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. During nearly seven years of follow-up, 4287 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed.
The researchers looked at exercise done at various times during life, ages 15-18, 19-29, 35-39 and “recently” (past 10 years) in relationship to the development of breast cancer. The results showed that exercise in the remote past didn’t protect women from developing breast cancer later in life.
Those who continuously engaged in seven or more hours per week of moderate-to-vigorous activity during the past 10 years, had a 16% reduction in the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer. The protective effects of exercise only protect during the timeframe you are exercising. When you quit exercising, the cancer prevention benefits quickly fade away.
The old adage “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” holds true with exercise. Faithful exercise helps prevent breast cancer.