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Excess Weight Seems to Boost Breast Cancer Risk
Date:11/2/2008

ping breast cancer and dying of it after menopause is believed due to increased levels of estrogen in obese women, said Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity with the American Cancer Society.

There is good news. Studies have shown that exercise -- 30 minutes to 60 minutes a day of moderate-to-high intensity physical activity -- decreases breast cancer risk, Doyle said.

"Physical activity reduces breast cancer risk both directly, by decreasing circulating estrogens, and also indirectly, by helping with weight control," she said. "Women are so concerned about breast cancer risk. Communicating that there are key things you can do to reduce risk -- watch your weight and be more active -- are valuable messages."

Ligibel agreed, noting that exercise might be valuable enough to counteract the strain on the body caused by obesity.

"You might not need to lose weight if you exercise," Ligibel said. "Exercise could affect the hormone levels and help keep cancer from occurring or recurring."

More information

To learn more visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Jennifer A. Ligibel, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Debbie Saslow, Ph.D., director of breast and gynecologic cancer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Colleen Doyle, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition and physical activity, American Cancer Society, Atlanta


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