No Matter Your Weight, Daily Walk Reduces Breast Cancer Risk

Research already shows that physical activity reduces the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Now a new study attempting to better understand this link has found that walking for an hour a day reduces a woman’s risk, regardless ofcanstockphoto10804685_walking your weight, estrogen use or other factors linked with increased risk.

The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

As previous research has shown, this study found that more activity offers more protection for postmenopausal breast cancer.

For the study, researchers gathered data from almost 74,000 women who were ages 50 to 74 when they enrolled 19 to 20 years ago. At the start, the women answered questions about their activity habits, weight, hormone use and other risk factors. They updated the information periodically until the study ended in 2009. By that time, 4,760 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Almost one of every ten women reported they were not active at all. Almost half said walking was their only recreational activity. Continue reading


Study: Breastfeeding May Delay Onset of Breast Cancer

A new but small study on breastfeeding and breast cancer adds to the evidence showing its protective effects for moms, with this study suggesting that breastfeeding may delay the onset of breast cancer for nonsmoking moms who breastfeed for at least six months.bigstock-Mother-breastfeeding-the-littl-18348869

The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Nursing this week.

AICR’s continuous updates, which examine the global literature, found that breastfeeding directly reduces a mother’s risk of breast cancer; breastfeeding also may indirectly reduce the baby’s risk for cancer in later life, as it may play a role in being a healthy weight.

In this study, about 500 Spanish breast cancer survivors answered questions about breastfeeding, along with their family history, diet, and smoking habits. The women ranged in ages from 19 to 91; they had all been diagnosed and treated for their cancer from 2004 to 2009.

Regardless of family history, the nonsmoking women who breastfed their babies for over six months were diagnosed with breast cancer a decade later than the other women. Continue reading


Breastfeeding Grades Improving: Helping Health and Cancer Risk

bigstock-Mother-breastfeeding-the-littl-18348869More than three out of four babies born in the U.S. in 2010 breastfed for any length of time, according to the 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says America’s breastfeeding grades are improving with the highest rates since they began measuring in 2001.

And that’s good news because breastfeeding offers many health benefits for babies and moms, including decreased risk for moms for both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer, and lower risk for obesity for baby. One of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention is that mothers breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months.

From my work in breastfeeding education and promotion even just 15 years ago, I know the struggles breastfeeding advocates face in encouraging moms and dads to try breastfeeding and in making hospitals and other institutions supportive of breastfeeding. So I am pleased to see more families choose to try for at least some length of time. Continue reading