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Exercise may reduce breast cancer risk

March 21, 2014

The benefits of participating in regular physical activity cannot be denied, especially for seniors. While several studies have linked exercise to improved health among a variety of demographics, new research presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference indicated that women, regardless of their age, who exercise for at least one hour per day have a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer.

Researchers explained that women who exercise regularly have a 12 percent lower chance of having breast cancer. A team led by Mathieu Boniol, the research director at the International Prevention Research Institute, examined 37 studies that pertained to women and physical fitness. Boniol stated that his team was confident in its results, especially since the studies in question directly involved women and breast cancer risk. 

Understanding what factors can help prevent the development of the disease is crucial for all women, Boniol said. He emphasized that since the benefits of regular exercise are far-reaching, more individuals should be integrating these activities into their daily lives.

"Adding breast cancer, including its aggressive types, to the list of diseases that can be prevented by physical activity should encourage the development of cities that foster sport by becoming bike and walk-friendly, the creation of new sports facilities and the promotion of exercise through education campaigns," Boniol said in a press release from the European Cancer Organization. "This is a low cost, simple strategy to reduce the risk of a disease that currently has a very high cost, both to healthcare systems and to patients and their families."

People of both genders can benefit from regular exercise, as it is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Previous studies have linked physical activity to greater memory care, reduced Alzheimer's risk and greater heart health.