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Regular Physical Activities Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Update Date: Mar 21, 2014 11:30 AM EDT

Playing sports for more than an hour every day reduces the risk of contracting breast cancer in women of every age group and any weight. The effect equally applies to women residing in every other geographical location, according to a new study. 

Researchers compared the data with least active women and found that those with the highest level of physical activity reduced the risk of breast cancer by 12 percent. 

"These are all the studies looking at the relationship between physical exercise and breast cancer risk that have been published to date, so we are confident that the results of our analysis are robust," said Professor Mathieu Boniol, Research Director at the International Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France, in a press release. 

Boniol along with his colleagues based their results on a meta-analysis of 37 studies published between 1987 and 2013 which represented more than four million women. 

Researchers agreed that the results varied to tumor type but overall the message was encouraging. They however added that the in women who undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT), the protective effects of exercise were seen cancelled out. 

"Adding breast cancer, including its aggressive types, to the list of diseases that can be prevented by physical activity should encourage the development of cities that foster sport by becoming bike and walk-friendly, the creation of new sports facilities, and the promotion of exercise through education campaigns," said Prof Boniol in the press release. 

"This is a low cost, simple strategy to reduce the risk of a disease that currently has a very high cost, both to healthcare systems and to patients and their families. It is good news both for individuals and for policy makers."

The research has been presented to the 9th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-9). 

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