How Older Women Can Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer – New Study

Generally, cancer begins when cells start to grow out of control in almost any part of the body and breast cancer as might be expected is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. This unwanted cells can spread to other areas of the body. The disease occurs nearly entirely in women, but men can get it, too. The disease though deadly can be avoided from occurring in women and this is where the new study by Alberta Health Services in Canada that is published in JAMA Oncology comes in.

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Current guidelines suggest physical activity for at least 150 minutes every week which is 21 minutes a day. However, a newer study, which examined 400 women for a year, discovered that older women or post-menopausal women who work out twice as much were remarkably better at reducing fat levels connected to causing breast cancer later in life.

According to the new research, any aerobic exercise (exercise that needs pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to working muscles) that increases the heart rate 65 to 75% was permitted, and most of the supervised and home-based activities involved the elliptical trainer, walking, cycling and running.


Average reductions in total body fat were larger in the 300-minute group compared to the 150-minute group by one kg or one per cent body fat. Subcutaneous abdominal fat, as well as total abdominal fat, BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio also decreased more in the 300-minute group. Some of the effects were stronger for obese women with a BMI greater than 30 for change in weight, BMI, waist and hip circumference, and subcutaneous abdominal fat, according to the results.

Though older women are getting to the age at which it is tempting to reduce workout rate a bit, they are rather required to do more exercise than others to stay healthy.

Scientists suggest that women who are 50 and above should do five hours of exercise a week – twice the government guideline – to prevent breast cancer.

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Most cases of the cancer occur in women who have reached menopause, as after the menopause, fat cells are a specifically a great source of the hormones that feed the cancer cells. So, by burning fat in order to starve cancer cells, more exercise is required to cut a woman’s odds of developing the disease.

Therefore older women who exercise for 45 minutes everyday – 300 minutes a week burn off more fat and dwindle their risk of breast cancer.

In the words of Researcher Dr Christine Friedenreich,

A probable association between physical activity and post-menopausal breast cancer risk is supported by more than 100 studies.

“Our findings of a dose-response effect of exercise on total fat mass and several other adiposity measures including abdominal fat, especially in obese women, provide a basis for encouraging postmenopausal women to exercise at least 300 minutes/week, longer than the minimum recommended for cancer prevention.”

Dr Kerri Winters-Stone, of Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, said:

“Continued investigation that gets at the biological underpinnings of the relationship between exercise and disease and that leads toward a tangible prescription for exercise as preventive medicine is a key step toward further motivating the public to exercise enough.

“Alongside these efforts must come those that remove barriers to becoming and staying physically active.”

“Today, such work is under way. Dovetailing these endeavors will ultimately be what is needed to improve behavior enough to meaningfully lower the burden of chronic disease.”

Older women are now advised to avoid cancer risk by working more than the general  recommendation.