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Technology and Health News > Thursday, May-15-2008

A footing against cancer

Three hours of jogging or 13 of walking per week: according to a U.S. study moderate exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer

Being fit, as we know, is not only an aesthetic issue. And now it seems that it is also useful for the prevention of breast cancer. A study of about 65,000 women by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.. Louis and from Harvard University in Boston, just published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, points out that women practicing sports have a 23 per cent lower risk of developing cancer before the menopause. In particular, it may be important to regularly exercise between the ages of 12 and 22 years.

"We have prevention strategies for breast cancer pre-menopausal, but our research shows that physical activity during adolescence and youth, between 12 and 35 years, may be important in the long term reduction of the risk of cancer", said Graham Colditz, professor of Prevention and Control and co-director at the Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "This is just one more reason to encourage young women to exercise regularly."

Scientists have explored data referring to a group of women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study II, a study of nurses between 24 and 42 years. Almost 65,000 women have filled annual detailed questionnaires about their physical activity by 12 years and forward. After six years, 550 of them had breast cancer. Researchers have estimated that as the factor incidence of breast cancer went down from 194 to 136 cases per 100 thousand in the cases of people more physically active. The levels of activity in those sports are the equivalent of 13 hours walking or about three hours of jogging per week. No one sport in particular: "You should not necessarily be a marathon runner" has clarified Colditz.

According to researchers, it may be noted that the exercise reduces exposure to estrogen. The more a woman is exposed to estrogen, in fact, the greater the risk of cancer. We must maintain a good pace, it seems!

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