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Breast Cancer and Exercise

There’s no magical cure for cancer (at least not yet). The different forms of cancer affect the body in a variety of ways. Treatments are complex and specialized. 

Breast cancer is a prominent and well-researched form of cancer. Breast cancer receives a lot of attention from researchers because many women are diagnosed with it each year. According to Cancer.gov, nearly 300,000 women are projected to be diagnosed with it this year alone.

Until a cure exists, scientists are racing to find ways to prevent and treat breast cancer. The first line of prevention is breast cancer screening, which is becoming increasingly available. It’s also possible that living a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk for breast cancer.

Some studies have shown that exercise can dramatically reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Even women who are genetically at risk for developing the disease can see reductions in risk.

These studies tend to be vast and, therefore, the data they collect is general. They don’t specify what type of exercise the women in the study are doing. Instead, they count the amount of time they’re active per week.

The magical number is 150 minutes of exercise per week. Studies show that the closer women get to that magical number, the lower their risk of developing breast cancer. No matter what style of exercise you choose, the key is to get moving.

Despite taking steps to prevent breast cancer, it can still occur. However, exercise helps women who are going through treatment and reduces the chance of recurrence. 

Researchers have found that women who were active before beginning cancer treatment not only handle things like chemotherapy better, they have a better chance of survival.

After successful treatment, the focus shifts to keeping cancer at bay. Evidence suggests that exercise greatly reduces the chance that breast cancer will return and prolongs the lifespan of women who’ve had the disease.

The good news is that beginning an exercise even during or after treatment can help extend lifespan. So, if you’ve recently been diagnosed, it’s not too late to start an exercise program and realize the benefits.

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