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Walking an hour daily cuts breast cancer risk

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 4th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A new study suggests that post-menopausal omen who walk at least an hour a day have their risk of breast cancer cut drastically. Following 73,000 women for 17 years, the study discovered that walking for at least seven hours a week lowered the risk of the cancer.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Experts in the United Kingdom say the study proved that lifestyle influenced cancer risk. In addition, the American Cancer Society team said this was the first time reduced risk was specifically linked to walking.

A quarter of adults walk for no more than an hour a week. Even then it's known that being active is known to reduce the risk of a number of cancers.

As published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the study followed 73,615 women out of 97,785 aged 50-74 who had been recruited by the American Cancer Society between 1992 and 1993.

They women were asked to complete questionnaires on their health; such as how much time they were active and participating in activities such as walking, swimming and aerobics. They were also asked how much time they spent sitting watching television or reading.

The test subjects completed the same questionnaires at two-year intervals between 1997 and 2009. Of the women, 47 percent said walking was their only recreational activity.

Those who walked for at least seven hours per week had a 14 percent lower risk of breast cancer in contrast to those who walked three or fewer hours per week.

"Given that more than 60% of women report some daily walking, promoting walking as a healthy leisure-time activity could be an effective strategy for increasing physical activity amongst post-menopausal women," Dr. Alpa Patel, a senior epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society who led the study says.

"We were pleased to find that without any other recreational activity, just walking one hour a day was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in these women. More strenuous and longer activities lowered the risk even more."

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign, said: "This study adds further evidence that our lifestyle choices can play a part in influencing the risk of breast cancer and even small changes incorporated into our normal day-to-day activity can make a difference.

"We know that the best weapon to overcoming breast cancer is the ability to stop it occurring in the first place.

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

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