It’s October and we hear talk about breast cancer everywhere – the entire globe marks with various events this month dedicated to the terrible illness. Beside the charity campaigns, survival marathons and pink-colored buildings, prevention is now the focus of attention.
One thing many international studies agree on is that physical exercise is a very important factor in the fight against this disease. One study claims that even a one-hour walk a day can contribute to the decrease in the risk of breast cancer occurrence.
Researchers point out that even once the cancer has been detected and treated, movement can decrease the risk of relapse. So there’s your reason to hold on to that gym subscription, not to give up the morning jogging and to forget the elevator.
The recommendation regarding the amount of sports to be done for better cancer prevention specifies around 4-5 hours a week, with average intensity (walking at a faster pace fits this level).
But there always were some unknown facts in these recommendations – for instance for how long should a woman practice movement to see the benefits. Or for how long can she enjoy those benefits if she stops doing sports.
We’ll start with the recently discovered answer for the latter unknown fact: the benefits in breast cancer prevention disappear rapidly after we stop doing sports. The French came up with this discovery after interviewing 100,000 French women aged between 40 and 65 years old in a study which began in 1990. Their conclusion: women who practiced sports regularly during the last four years had a lower breast cancer risk than those who were not that active during the same period. Women who were keen on physical exercises 5-9 years before that, but who quit their sports regime during the last 4 years, no longer demonstrated a 10% lower risk of getting breast cancer. The types of sport taken into account in this study were either 4 hours per week of walking, or 2 hours of a more intense activity - cycling for instance.
In conclusion, yes, sport can be our trustful ally in breast cancer prevention, provided we never give up on it. Forget about “I don’t have the time, I’m not in the mood, not today”!