How Walking May Lower Risk For Breast Cancer


Any regular reader of this blog knows that we champion the benefits of walking frequently. Well, not to be a broken record, but there may be one more reason to lace up those walking shoes and head out the door–breast cancer.  A study from the University of Minnesota, written up in the New York Times, found some encouraging links between walking and a decrease in breast cancer rates.  From the article:

Exercise, by altering the ratio of estrogen metabolites and also reducing total body fat, may change the internal makeup of a woman’s body and make it harder for breast cancer to take hold.

But, of course, exercise, is not a panacea. Some of the women in Dr. Patel’s study who dutifully walked every day developed breast cancer. Many who rarely if ever exercised did not.

“There is still a very great deal that we don’t know” about how cancer of any kind starts or why it doesn’t, Dr. Patel said.

“But physical activity, and especially walking, are so simple and so accessible to most women,” she continued. “And statistically, they do seem to reduce breast cancer risk. So why not?”


As stated, exercise of any kind, and walking in particular, is not a sure protection against cancer.  But if it consistently lowers cancer rates, than that is one more great reason to move!  What motivates you to exercise?

Caren Swanson

Image by flickr user Temari 09

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