Women who get regular exercise (physical activity) have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who are not active [95-99].
When the evidence is looked at as a whole, regular exercise appears to lower breast cancer risk by 10-20 percent [95-99].
This benefit is seen most clearly in postmenopausal women [95-99].
For a summary of research studies on physical activity and breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.
The American Cancer Society recommends 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of physical activity a week to lower overall cancer risk .
You don’t need to have an intense exercise routine to lower your risk of breast cancer. Activity equal to walking 30 minutes a day may lower risk by about 3 percent .
Exercise can help with weight control. Being lean lowers the risk of breast cancer after menopause [46-48].
Higher estrogen levels in women increase the risk of breast cancer . Being active may lower estrogen levels [101-103].
Exercise may also boost the body’s immune system so it can help kill or slow the growth of cancer cells .
Learn more about body weight and breast cancer risk.
Learn more about estrogen and breast cancer risk.
Some studies suggest being active lowers the risk of [105-110]:
Learn more about physical activity and breast cancer survival.
Being active is good for your health, but it can be hard to find time to exercise.
Do any activity you enjoy that gets you moving (for example, dancing or gardening).
The following tips may help you become more active. If you can, :
Making healthy lifestyle choices has benefits at any age.
Being active, eating a balanced diet and making other healthy lifestyle choices can be physically and mentally rewarding at any point in life.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website www.choosemyplate.gov has free tools to help you set weight and activity goals for healthy living.
For example, their tool Supertracker tool can help you plan, track and analyze your diet and exercise.
Susan G. Komen®’s breast self-awareness messages
1. Know your risk
2. Get screened
3. Know what is normal for you and see a health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes (see images):
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
*Please note, the information provided within Komen Perspectives articles is only current as of the date of posting. Therefore, some information may be out of date at this time.
Research Fast Facts: Prevention