Study Shows Exercise Protects Against Breast Cancer Even Without Weight Loss. Exercise cuts a woman’s risk of breast cancer after menopause — but only vigorous exercise, a National Cancer Institute study shows.
Moderate exercise did not cut breast cancer risk. Vigorous exercise did, but only in women who were not overweight.
However, it’s possible that overweight and obese women found moderate exercise more taxing and misreported it as strenuous exercise.
The findings suggest that exercise itself protects against breast cancer, regardless of whether it leads to weight loss, note Michael F. Leitzmann, MD, and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute.
The researchers analyzed data on more than 32,000 postmenopausal women collected over 11 years as part of the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project.
Women were asked about their exercise habits, and Leitzmann’s team rated their exercise as “moderate” or “vigorous.”
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