Breast Cancer Exercise

Summary of the breast cancer exercise prevention connection (page 3 of Breast Cancer Prevention)

Back to Main Breast Cancer Prevention page

Here’s really good news for women: for breast cancer exercise is good prevention the first time and also helps prevent recurrence. The American Institute for Cancer Research updated its major report on cancer, nutrition and physical activity in early 2008. Their conclusion: regular physical activity protects against several types of cancer, specifically colon, breast (post-menopausal), and endometrium. Increased physical activity reduces risk of cancer regardless of body weight. But since we know that obesity is itself also an independent risk factor for cancer, and that higher levels of physical activity are associated with less obesity, it also follows that regular physical activity reduces risk of cancers by the pathway of weight reduction.


The relationship between body weight and breast cancer prevention is understood only by whether a woman is before or after menopause. Premenopausal breast cancer seems to be in many ways a different disease than post-menopausal breast cancer, and it has a different set of risk factors. The data are clear that being overweight is a risk factor for post-menopausal breast cancer. A woman who carries more body fat than she needs is more likely to develop breast cancer after menopause. This is at least partly related to the ability of fatty tissues to increase the overall levels of estrogen in a woman’s body. The activity of an enzyme called aromatase is higher in fatty tissues, and the one of the functions of aromatase is to convert other circulating steroids in the bloodstream to estrogen. In summary, the chain of events works like this: the higher a woman’s lifelong exposure to estrogens, the higher her risk of breast cancer; the higher a woman’s aromatase level in tissues, the greater her estrogen levels will be; the greater her percent body fat, the higher her aromatase activity. So unequivocally we can say that keeping the body weight as low as possible without being underweight is a good breast cancer prevention strategy for post-menopausal women.

For more vital information on breast cancer prevention, link here to page 4 on environment and cancer. 

Back to Main Breast Cancer Prevention Page 

Return from Breast Cancer Exercise to Holistic-Medicine-MD Home Page

Preventing Breast Cancer.