Get Moving! And Decrease Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Along with this spooky month dedicated to Halloween, October is also the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this month there is an array of breast cancer fundraisers for treatment, breast cancer sponsored events ie, the NFL and most importantly, breast cancer prevention information. What does ASMSU have anything to do with breast cancer prevention?? Physical activity reduces risk of developing breast cancer, “exercise is a modifiable factor that is inversely related to risk for breast cancer” (Jung et al 1297). Exercise helps to decrease the amount of hormones in your blood, specifically estrogen, and increases the sensitivity to your body’s hormone receptors. Functioning with lower estrogen levels also means a lower bone density, another risk factor for developing breast cancer. WAIT, high bone density is a risk factor? Yes, the more estrogen in your blood, the higher your bone mass will be. However, not all studies have shown this true. In terms of breast cancer prevention, lower blood estrogen levels reduce risk. In addition to estrogen, premenopausal women produce estrogen from their ovaries whereas postmenopausal women convert their estrogen from fat tissue. This fat tissue where extra estrogen is stored is yet another risk factor. With that, pre- and postmenopausal women both want to stay away from weight gain to maintain a lower risk at developing breast cancer. In conclusion, stay active, weight gain is an unwanted burden for any woman! Staying active with physical activity and exercise is one great way to steer clear of this overwhelmingly woman dominated cancer.

Between 1997 and 2001, one specific study looked at physical activity exposure of 333 women from childhood, adolescent, and to adult. These women had a confirmed diagnosis of BBD (breast benign disease), considered to be an early stage of breast cancer. Results of this study showed that engaging in 13 hours/week of walking (equivalent to 3.25 hours/week of running), reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer by 23%. That being said, physical activity may act to protect against breast cancer in the earliest of its stages (Jung et al 1303). To reiterate, this study proves that even with the beginning development of breast cancer, you can still lower your risk by being physically active.

Want to kill 2 birds with one stone? Check out Pink Gloves Boxing offered here at ASMSU. Get your physical activity in while donating to Susan G. Komen for the cure! This program is dedicated to empowering women of all ages to get active and set goals, while supporting a great cause.

References:

Comen, Susan G. (2011). Risk Factor and Prevention. Retrieved from <http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/LowerYourRisk.html&gt;

Jung, M.M., Colditz, G.A., Colling, L.C., Schnitt, S.J., Connolly, J.L., and Tamimi, R.M. (2011). Lifetime physical activity and the incidence of proliferative benign breast disease. Cancer Causes Control (2011) 22:1297-1305.

Pink Gloves Boxing. (2011). Retrieved from <http://pinkglovesboxing.com/&gt;

Article written by Michelle Knurr.  Michelle is available for personal training sessions at the Hosaeus Fitness Center located at Montana State University-Bozeman.  Contact Michelle today for more information!

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