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Moderate Exercise Beats Breast Cancer and Death from All Causes

(Health Secrets Newsletter) The link between exercise and health is an old one. The connection between exercise and breast cancer has also been well established. Early studies found that women who exercised like mad were able to reduce their risk of breast cancer, because they exercised to the point where their estrogen production was nearly stopped, reducing the possibility of estrogen imbalancein the body. But this information was not too useful for most women who had no interest in becoming professional athletes or spending eight hours a day at the gym. But now there is good news for everyone. Recent studies have shown that exercise in moderation has a profound effect on breast cancer prevention and prognosis, and a positive effect against death for all causes.

Moderate exercise has a dramatic impact on breast cancer development

A group from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina confirmed that even moderate exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer. They examined the association between cardio-respiratory fitness and risk of death from breast cancer in women who participated in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, a study that ran for 31 years. Over 14,000 women aged 20 to 83 with no prior history of breast cancer were classified according to their performance on treadmill tests and other exams as low, moderate or highly fit depending on their results. The findings showed that women in poor physical condition were three times more likely to die from breast cancer than those who exercised regularly.

A half hour of daily aerobic exercise can make a person highly fit

Hours of grueling workouts are not required to get into the highly fit category. This study measured fitness through aerobic exercise, a type of workout that aims for a sustained increase in heart and lung activity that allows for the burning of fat. When exercise becomes so grueling that muscle is burned instead of fat, it is no longer considered to be aerobic. Any activity that gets a person moving for a sustained period with increased heart and lung action, such as walking, jogging, cleaning, gardening, dancing, or doing calisthenics will qualify as aerobic. Jogging in front of the TV will even get the job done.

Aerobic exercise is actually be very enjoyable and invigorating, so much so that it can become addictive. Aerobic exercise promotes the circulation of oxygen in the blood and floods cells with enough oxygen to chase cancer away. Aerobics helps normalize cholesterol, lower blood pressure levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. It works wonders with anyone who has diabetes. Mood and outlook are uplifted with this form of exercise, and sense of well being and feelings of empowerment are heightened. The mind is cleared and the ability to concentrate is restored.

A half hour a day of aerobic exercise can result in a person being classified as highly fit. Fifteen minutes a day is all it takes to achieve moderate fitness. Just waving the arms about in imitation of an orchestra leader while listening to music for fifteen minutes a day can even make a person moderately fit. Aerobic exercise has the added benefits of easy weight loss and a price tag of zero.

Exercise is associated with positive outcome from hormone sensitive breast cancer

In a study scientists examined the association between physical activity and hormone receptor-defined breast cancers in women ages 25 to 64 years who were recruited into the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study, a population-based study conducted in China. Women with confirmed breast cancer and available receptor status information, and matched controls completed in-person interviews. The association between measures of physical activity with each breast cancer subtype, (ER/PR positive, ER/PR negative, ER positive and PR negative, and ER negative and PR positive) was investigated using the control population as the reference group.

Results showed that exercise during adolescence and also during the most recent 10 years was associated with a decreased risk of both receptor-positive and receptor-negative breast cancer in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women (odds ratios were 0.44, 0.51, 0.43, and 0.21 respectively). Sweating during exercise within the most recent 10 years was also associated with decreased risk for receptor-positive and receptor-negative breast cancers among postmenopausal women (odds ratios 0.58 and 0.28 respectively). These findings suggest that exercise can reduce breast cancer risk through both hormonal and non-hormonal pathways.

 Latest research points to tumor-associated macrophages
 
Scientists at the University of Washington have noted that although the role of exercise and physical activity in breast cancer prevention has been established, the exact mechanism of that protection has remained unclear. Their aim was to provide some clarity, given that the tumor microenvironment is populated by stromal cells, such as those that make up connective tissue, fat cells, and large white blood cells known as macrophages. They found that these macrophages, which are a component of the immune system, are highly responsive to signals from the cancer microenvironment, causing them to either display tumor-promoting or tumor-suppressing characteristics. Because they are so plastic, macrophages have the ability to be modified by exercise training, so that they induce an anti-tumor effect.
Exercise reduces risk of death from all causes

Research from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark studied inflammation as a key player in the development of degenerative diseases such as breast cancer, colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Given that regular exercise offers protection against all causes of mortality through its ability to protect against insulin resistance, the scientists suggested that exercise may exert some of its beneficial effects by inducing anti-inflammatory cytokines, which they have labeled myokines. Interleukin-6 is the first identified myokine. It is produced and released by skeletal muscle fibers when they contract with exercise, and exerts its beneficial effects on other organs of the body. These scientists suggest that skeletal muscle qualifies to be an endocrine organ, and myokines may be involved in promoting beneficial effects against all degenerative diseases associated with inflammation, including cancer.

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