Aside from keeping us in good physical condition, a study has shown that regular exercise can help prevent breast cancer.
However, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) warns that even though exercise like brisk walking can help reduce the risk of breast cancer among women of all ages, only a handful of Americans are aware of this fact.
For this study, researchers have collaborated on an analysis of the global research on lifestyle and breast cancer risk. Based on data from AICR’s 2017 awareness survey, only four of 10 Americans (or 39 percent) were aware that physical activity can help lower cancer risk.
Aside from breast cancer, regular exercise can help protect individuals against colon and endometrial cancers.
Dr. Nigel Brockton, AICR’s Director of Research, said that their report, which summarized research from all over the globe, determined that “regular vigorous physical activity” can effectively reduce breast cancer among both pre- and post-menopausal women. He added that women of various ages can minimize their risk of breast cancer by exercising regularly. While it may seem like a simple change in regular habits, it’s “a simple message that can have a powerful impact.” (Related: 4 Ways to Lower Stress and Prevent Breast Cancer.)
Based on AICR research, at least one out of three annual breast cancer cases in the U.S. could be prevented by exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing alcohol intake.
For the first time, the report titled “Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer” also illustrated that vigorous physical activity like cycling or running can prevent pre-menopausal breast cancer. There is also data which proved that brisk physical activity can minimize the risk for post-menopausal breast cancers, the most common form of this cancer.
For vigorous exercise, pre-menopausal women who were the most active had a 17 percent lower risk and post-menopausal women had a 10 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who were the least active.
The risk for post-menopausal breast cancer can be lowered with both vigorous and moderate exercise. Total moderate activity, like gardening and walking, can lower the risk for cancer by 13 percent when comparing the most versus the least active women.
Alice Bender, Director of Nutrition Programs, concluded, “Our report focused on lowering risk for breast cancer, but research also shows that for everyone, including cancer survivors, taking these same lifestyle steps can help lower risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”
The report determined that new mothers who breastfeed can lower their risk of both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancers as well. Except for non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide and in the U.S.
Natural foods that can help prevent cancer
Incorporate more of these foods into your diet to help prevent various cancers:
- Artichokes – Artichokes contain silymarin, an antioxidant that can help prevent skin cancer.
- Blueberries – This fruit is rich in antioxidants which can neutralize free radicals, unstable compounds that cause cell damage. Free radicals can also cause diseases like cancer.
- Brazil nuts – These nuts are full of selenium, a trace mineral that can make cancer cells “commit suicide.” Brazil nuts also help cells repair their DNA.
- Broccoli – A cancer-preventing superfood, broccoli must be eaten steamed to fully enjoy its health benefits. You can also eat it raw or add it to soups and salads.
- Citrus fruits – Consuming citrus fruits daily can help lower the risk of mouth, stomach, and throat cancers by 50 percent. Citrus fruits can also protect you from esophageal cancer.
- Garlic – Garlic has sulfur compounds that can trigger the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer. It can also minimize tumor growth.
- Kiwi – Kiwi also contain antioxidants that can fight cancer such as copper, lutein, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
- Scallions – Onions can lower the risk of prostate cancer by half. These benefits are boosted when scallions are eaten raw or lightly cooked. For milder alternatives, try chives, shallots, or Vidalia onions.
You can learn more about breast cancer and how to prevent it at Cancer.news.
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