Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Can exercise beat cancer?

Simply keeping active as a teenager is the new hope in preventing breast cancer. Simon Crompton reports

Some scary figures were released last week: the number of women with breast cancer has risen by 81 per cent in the past 33 years. Although breast cancer death rates are also falling, the statistics are deeply worrying for women, not least because scientists says that it’s hard to pin down the exact cause of the rise.
However, a more hopeful message will emerge at the National Cancer Research Institute Conference in Birmingham next week. The conference will hear that there is something women can do to reduce the risk of breast cancer: exercise. The message will be made in a keynote speech supported by the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and will mark a new era in official acknowledgement from cancer research bodies that there is a clear link between activity and a reduction in breast cancer.

Professor Leslie Bernstein, the chair in cancer research at the University of California, will draw on 20 years’ research into the effect of exercise on breast cancer rates and will conclude that young girls can significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer as they get older if they exercise regularly in their teens. And both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal adults can improve their odds of staying clear of the disease by keeping active.

Her research indicates that exercising over a lifetime seems to have the strongest protective effect; young women who exercise for just four hours a week over their entire reproductive years experience more than a 50 per cent reduction in breast cancer risk. But exercising in adolescence may be particularly crucial; another of her studies showed that breast cancer risk was reduced by 30 per cent among women who exercised for two hours or more every week during their teens. It all gives extra cause for concern over Britain’s couch-potato youth.

Source - Times



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home