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Walking 'cuts breast cancer risk'

08 October 2013 08:50

Walking for a minimum of an hour each day can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer

Walking for a minimum of an hour each day can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer

It is well known that being active reduces breast cancer risk, but now experts claim that walking can also have a positive impact.

Research from the American Cancer Society reveals that women who walk for an hour a day can cut their chance of developing the disease by 14%.

"Our findings are particularly relevant, as people struggle with conflicting information about how much activity they need to stay healthy," said Dr Alpa Patel, senior epidemiologist at the voluntary health organisation.

"Without any other recreational physical activities, walking on average of at least one hour per day was associated with a modestly lower risk of breast cancer."

A total of 73,615 post-menopausal women were involved in the study, of which 4,760 were diagnosed with breast cancer during a 17-year follow-up. People who have been diagnosed with the disease can arrange breast cancer travel insurance if they're planning on taking a holiday.

For 47% of those analysed, walking was their recreational activity. Nevertheless, those who walked at least seven hours per week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those who walked three or fewer hours per week.

Participation in more strenuous and longer activities, meanwhile, was found to lower the risk even more.

For instance, women who took part in more vigorous activities for an hour a day had a 25% lower risk of breast cancer than the least active.

The results were unaffected by factors such as a woman's weight or whether she used hormone replacement therapy.

"We know that the best weapon to overcoming breast cancer is the ability to stop it occurring in the first place," commented Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign.

"The challenge now is how we turn these findings into action and identify other sustainable lifestyle changes that will help us prevent breast cancer."