-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Vigorous exercise on
a regular basis might help protect black women against an
aggressive form of breast cancer, researchers have found.
The new study included nearly 45,000 black women, aged 30 and
older, who were followed for nearly 20 years. Those who engaged in
vigorous exercise for a lifetime average of three or more hours a
week were 47 percent less likely to develop so-called estrogen
receptor-negative breast cancer compared with those who exercised
an average of one hour per week, the investigators found.
This type of breast cancer, which includes HER2-positive and
triple-negative tumors, is linked to both higher incidence and
death risk in black women, compared to white women. These estrogen
receptor-negative tumors do not respond to the types of hormone
therapies used to treat tumors that have the estrogen receptor, the
researchers said in a Georgetown University Medical Center news
No level of exercise affected the women's risk for estrogen
receptor-positive breast cancer, according to the study findings,
which were presented Wednesday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer
"These findings are very encouraging. Knowing that exercise may protect against breast cancers that disproportionately strike black women is of great public health importance," Lucile Adams-Campbell, a professor of oncology and associate director of minority health and health disparities research at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., said in the news release.
"We all want to do what we can to reduce our risk of disease and improve our health," Adams-Campbell said. "Along with other well-known benefits, we now show that exercise can possibly stave off development of potentially lethal breast cancer in black women."
Although the study found an association between regular vigorous
exercise and lower risk of an aggressive form of breast cancer in
black women, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. In
addition, the data and conclusions of research presented at medical
meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
breast cancer prevention.
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