Exercise & Breast Cancer

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Exercise and Breast Cancer

Approximately 211,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Forty-thousand of those diagnosed lose their battle with this disease and die. Breast cancer is the most common and second biggest cancer killer, after lung cancer, among women. The number of women with breast cancer has risen by 81% in the past thirty-three years. These numbers are significant because although the death rate is decreasing, the incidence is rising. Every day, doctors and researchers are actively working toward finding ways to prevent breast cancer and the risks it poses to women. Great strides are being made every day, and there have been great advances throughout the years. One of these advances has been the effects of exercise in lowering the risk of breast cancer and preventing recurrences in those who have previously been diagnosed, and what role it plays in the prevention and recovery of breast cancer. There is a plethora of research and findings that have surfaced and been published that show the support for exercise being a positive factor in preventing and lowering the risk of breast cancer and recurrence. Many studies have been performed throughout the last ten to twelve years that has focused solely on the issue at hand. Rachel Ballard-Barbash of the National Cancer Institute states, “We have emerging a growing field of research on the role of lifestyle factors on cancer quality of life after diagnosis and their potential effect on cancer survival and prognosis” (Stein, 2005). Throughout this paper, numerous literature will be presented that supports the findings of exercise’s positive influence on the prevention and lower risk of breast cancer.

Every day, doctors and researchers throughout the world are working toward coming to a better understanding of breast cancer and its possible causes and risk factors. One of the key components they have stumbled upon that can aid in the prevention of breast cancer and help in those women recovering from the disease is exercise. Studies have been done on those with and without a history of breast cancer to determine whether or not exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Other studies have also been done with women recovering from breast cancer and whether or not exercise benefits them throughout the recovery process. The two components that will be examined throughout this paper are exercise reducing the risk of breast cancer in women with and without a family history, and exercise as a benefit during recovery from breast cancer and how it affects the risk of recurrence.

Exercise is a key component to living healthy because it helps build and maintain bones and muscles, helps control weight and reduce fat, and releases stress and helps develop a more positive outlook on life. Exercise can also reduce the risk of developing some of the leading causes of death and illness, such as breast cancer. Research is advancing its works and more and more studies are showing that exercise and breast cancer have a direct correlation to one another. Newer studies, along with some past ones, are showing that breast cancer may be affected by exercise. When looking for new information and performing studies, one factor that is looked at in determining the risk of breast cancer is exercise. Recent studies have shown that regular physical activity is effective in lowering the risk of several types of cancer, with breast cancer being among the top. According to both the Keck School of Medicine (University of Southern California) and the American Cancer Association, exercise cuts the risk of developing breast cancer and women who exercise daily have a 35% lower risk of developing breast carcinoma in situ than inactive women (“Exercise Keeps Breast Cells Working,” 2003). These findings coincide with another that says that aerobic exercise over a long period of time may reduce the risk...
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