Exercise of five hours a week may cut breast cancer

Study lead author Dr. Kala Visvanathan from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States said, “Our study showed that women diagnosed with breast cancer and those who received chemotherapy to treat their breast cancer gained more weight within the first five years of diagnosis and treatment than cancer-free women”.

But a trial found postmenopausal women who exercised 300 minutes a week lost more body fat.

Most cases of the cancer occur in older women and after menopause, fat cells are a particularly rich source of the hormones that feed the disease.

This study inspired her team to take it further and analyze the effects of the widely recommended 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity to see how it can affect the body fat compared when it’s increase to 300 minutes of the same activity. Most activities involved an elliptical trainer, walking, bicycling or running.

While the women who exercised more saw the biggest drops in their body fat measures, those who followed the recommended amount of activity-150 minutes each week-also melted away some of their fat. The former also lost more abdominal fat and had a bigger drop in their waist to hip ratio. For one, cancer patients become less active or practice a more sedentary lifestyle due to the draining effects of chemo to their bodies.

Researchers measured each woman’s body fat before and after, using X-rays and Connecticut scans, to track their progress after a year’s worth of exercise. Important breast cancer risk factors include increasing age, having a family history of the disease, prior benign breast biopsies, and increased exposure to the hormone, estrogen.

Close to 150,000 individuals – 47 percent men and 53 percent women – were picked out from the list of entries in the nutrition cohort study of the American Cancer Society.

Researchers from Francis Crick Institute, formerly known as UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation, have come up with a breakthrough discovery in breast and ovarian cancers that scientists had been attempting to unravel for decades. Some earlier study even claimed that women who can render at least 225 minutes of physical activity every week showed significant weight loss especially from adipose fat stores.

“It really boils down to an energy balance equation”, she said. Exercise and diets are a must.

Health officials always advise that exercise is good for optimal health. Overuse injuries can occur if a person heedlessly pursues a stringent exercise regimen.